A Case Study of Leadership and Disciplinary Practices Used by Secondary School Leaders to Support Equity for Black Male Students

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Florida Southern College
The school-to-prison pipeline has plagued black males for many years. When school leaders apply disciplinary consequences such as in-school and out-of-school suspension, they inadvertently foster the push-out of black males by removing them from the classroom. When black males are removed from the classroom through suspension, the opportunities to excel in social and academic environments significantly decrease. The social construction of race in the context of school discipline supports how black males are stereotyped by the way they dress, their cultural background, and their everyday demeanor (Simson, 2014). Because of this stereotypical societal perception, black males are often generalized as being defiant, disrespectful, and dangerous. It is important for educational leaders to have an awareness of how black males are perceived in school and create opportunities for equitable disciplinary practices towards black male students. The purpose of this study was to explore leadership and disciplinary practices used by secondary school leaders to support equity for black male students. The researcher used qualitative research to conduct three instrumental case studies. Three high schools were used as part of this research: one suburban and two urban. The researcher interviewed and observed three high school principals and high school assistant principals. The exploratory questions that guided this research are listed below: 1. What factors, as perceived by school leaders, play a role in equitable school disciplinary practices for black male students? 2. What data sources do school leaders principals utilize that may influence disciplinary practices towards black male students? 3. What discretionary practices do school leaders use or take into consideration that support equity when handling a disciplinary incident that directly involves black male students? 4. How do school leaders develop and train faculty and staff members to reflect a shared vision to support equity for black male students? This study was designed based upon research done on the Critical Race Theory and the Racial Threat Theory. The racial threat theory suggests that minorities are perceived to present an economic, political, and criminal threat to the dominant social group. The Critical Race Theory suggests that racial stigmatization, stereotyping, and implicit biases are based on a long history of racial prejudice in the United States. Inequity in school discipline for black males has been an ongoing issue for several years. Qualitative research examined how school leaders support black males and maintain equity in leadership and disciplinary practices for black male students. Several components are considered to support equity, and those components range from building positive relationships to promoting parental involvement in education. The researcher offers policy implications on disciplinary practices and recommendations for further research for school leadership.
Dissertation presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership in the School of Education at Florida Southern College by Jazrick Haggins.
Educational leadership, Educational administration, Educational philosophy, Secondary education, Black studies
Haggins, J. (2017). A Case Study of Leadership and Disciplinary Practices Used by Secondary School Leaders to Support Equity for Black Male Students (Order No. 13899365). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global: The Humanities and Social Sciences Collection. (2305531114). https://www.proquest.com/dissertations-theses/case-study-leadership-disciplinary-practices-used/docview/2305531114/se-2