Date of Award

Summer 7-24-2023

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership for Learning Dissertations

Department

Educational Leadership

Committee Chair

Dr. Chinasa Elue

First Committee Member

Dr. Sheryl Croft

Second Committee Member

Dr. Marrielle Myers

Abstract

Abstract

“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” —Ida B. Wells

The use of exclusionary discipline has an impact on all stakeholders in the educational system. This includes Black girls, teachers, administrators, and parents. The current study provides an in-depth view of the lived experiences of school administrators when implementing exclusionary discipline and their methods to mitigate the use of such discipline practices in urban K-12 schools. While research is available on the experiences of Black girls and Black boys with exclusionary discipline, there is scant literature on the experiences of the school administrators and their practices regarding the use of exclusionary discipline with Black girls. The following research questions guided this study: “What are the lived experiences of school administrators when implementing exclusionary discipline consequences of Black girls in urban K - 12 schools?” and “How have school administrators mitigated the use of exclusionary discipline of Black girls in urban K-12 schools?” The researcher for this study utilized a phenomenological research design using semi-structured interviews with urban K-12 school administrators.

This study employed critical race theory to examine how school administrators located in the southeastern United States experience reducing the use of exclusionary discipline in Black girls in K-12 urban schools. A phenomenological methodology was utilized to unpack the discipline experiences of school administrators. The study’s findings established that the experience of reducing exclusionary discipline is relegated by discipline policies and the interactions with administrators fostered by teachers undergirded by unconscious thoughts of historical bias of Black girls. This study was framed by the tenets of critical race theory that postulate that race and racism is the normal operation for people of color in the United States and the importance of the counter stories of the school administrators. This dissertation concludes with recommendations for educational practitioners and policymakers who desire to create and implement programming for Black girls. In addition, to provide an outlet for professional learning to cast down the biases that prevent safe and visible spaces for Black girls.

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