Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Carol A. Burg

Second Advisor

James L. Schott

Third Advisor

Joan Q. Minnis


With a large disparity in the rate of suspension incidents received between African American and White students, it is evident why there still exists a gap in academic achievement. Too often we rely heavily on out of school suspensions as a consequence for student misbehavior. This approach leads to students falling behind academically and feeling less connected to their learning environment. My study takes a close look into establishing district policy to help each middle school offer a balanced approach to addressing student discipline in order to improve behavior and increase the amount of instructional time that African American middle school students receive.