Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice


David Weintraub

Committee Member

James Miller


behavior problems, discipline, discipline problems, zero tolerance


The problem addressed in the study involved excessive out-of-school suspensions, which have been a major concern for public school educators for decades. The purpose of the study explored the perceptions of participants regarding the effects of implementing restorative practices on suspension rates at a rural elementary school.The qualitative phenomenology study used a purposive sample of 10 educators who interacted with students suspended for violating the school's code of conduct. Six kindergarten through Grade 5 teachers, two Grades 3–5 grade-level chairpersons, the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support coordinator, and one administrator participated in the study. Utilizing case study approaches, this qualitative study developed interview questions to allow participants to express their opinions on numerous areas of the faculty and administration's classroom knowledge. The researcher was able to acquire information regarding the district, school, teachers, and administrators' ways to enforcing discipline policies for children from underrepresented groups through the interviews. The participants of this study believed that restorative techniques combined with Positive Behavior Supports were effective in diverting pupils' negative actions. In addition, the survey revealed that participants considered that zero tolerance disciplinary methods did not result in an overall change in behavior but were nevertheless necessary in particular cases. Future research should examine the efficacy of continual training to improve restorative practice implementation and maintainability and ensure that all staff members understand its goals.