Date of Conferral
Doctor of Social Work (DSW)
The disproportionate frequency of disciplinary actions involving Black students in the school setting is of concern. The behavior that leads to disciplinary action may be related to adverse childhood events that resulted in behavior related to trauma. This action research study focused on how school social workers in 1 school district might engage parents of Black students in the therapeutic processes to decrease disciplinary action. In this study, the trauma systems therapy (TST) model was presented to a focus group composed of school social workers who served Black students. The social workers were asked to share their thoughts in response to 5 questions related to how social workers might engage parents of Black students in the therapeutic processes to decrease disciplinary action. Data analysis included reviewing the focus-group transcript and coding categories. Themes in the responses to each question were categorized to provide insight into the feasibility of implementing TST in practice with Black students who received disciplinary action. The results of this research might inform school social workers' practice by helping them connect adverse childhood experiences and disciplinary outcomes as they engage parents of Black students in the therapeutic process to decrease disciplinary actions. The implications of this study for positive social change include modifying school social work services, creating safe therapeutic school environments, and changing the course of disciplinary actions for Black students.