Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

Degree Level



Curriculum and Instruction


John Pijanowski

Committee Member

Kara Lasater

Second Committee Member

Christy Smith


African American Students, Discipline Disproportionality, Discipline of Disabled Students, Exclusionary Practices, Special Education


The purpose of this study is to examine the problem of practice found in discipline disproportionality of Black students with disabilities in an urban school district with a majority Black student and teacher population. Through personal interviews with building level administrators, data was gained to determine common themes that impact discipline disproportionality of Black students with disabilities. A qualitative inquiry approach, in the form of a case study was used to determine principals’ perspectives about factors that may impact discipline disproportionality. Student disciplinary records were examined to verify disproportionality and investigate patterns and categories related to students with and without disabilities being issued Office Discipline Referrals (ODRs). Interviews were conducted with building level administrators (principals and assistant principals) and their responses recorded and open coded to determine themes. Insight from this data will assist in determining what disciplinary practices may need to change and if additional and specific and professional development needs to occur for teachers and administrators.