Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




James Bailey


The problem addressed in this study was that although administrators in a rural northeastern Maryland school district are complying with state Senate Bill 651 by not suspending students in prekindergarten through second grade, administrators continue to struggle with preventing severe offenses from happening and reducing office referrals. The conceptual framework was based on Hannigan and Hannigan’s alternative discipline framework. The conceptual framework focused on administrators’ beliefs, implementation of discipline practices, and intervention use. The research question concentrated on administrators’ perspectives about exclusionary discipline and interventions to prevent severe behaviors. In this basic qualitative study, data were collected through semistructured interviews with 12 rural northeastern Maryland current or former principals and assistant principals directly involved in the exclusionary discipline or decision-making procedures. The data analysis consisted of coding interview transcripts using value coding and axial coding to find similar themes and concepts. Several participants identified interventions methods such as positive behavior programs to manage behaviors other than using exclusionary discipline. Further recommendations include establishing relationships with community-based mental health programs to assist students and families. The findings of this study have potential implications for positive social change by identifying antecedents of behaviors for primary students and by identifying interventions to prevent behaviors and the use of exclusionary discipline.

Included in

Education Commons