Date of Award

Spring 3-23-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Shelly Fransen

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Kathy Grover


discipline practices can widen the opportunity gap for at-risk students (Baker & Coley, 2013; Black, 2016; Crosby et al., 2018; Gibson & Gibson, 2019; Mallett, 2016; McCarter, 2017; Porter, 2015; Williams et al., 2017). The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between student risk factors and exclusionary discipline rates. Identification of a significant relationship between exclusionary discipline and student risk factors could lead to an increased awareness of precertification and practicing educator professional development needs. Identification of a significant relationship between trauma-related risk factors and exclusionary discipline could lead to an awareness of exclusionary discipline alternatives more conducive to student success. The population of this study consisted of all elementary students who attended a midwestern school district, and the sample consisted of students who attended the two case study schools within the district. The literature resources gathered for this study were assayed to support the purpose and findings of the study. In order to determine a relationship between risk factors and exclusionary discipline, four research questions were presented. To further the study and demonstrate relevance of school culture and practices, an analysis of the fifth research question was presented to find the difference in exclusionary discipline outcomes between two similar schools within the same midwestern school district. Data analysis of research questions one through four indicated a significant relationship between exclusionary discipline and the risk factors of meal status, disability, and race. A significant relationship was not discovered between exclusionary discipline and gender. A significant difference was found between the discipline outcomes of the case study schools.


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