Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
The purpose of this qualitative, phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of students classified with an emotional disturbance who were long-term suspended from school, their parent/guardians, and school administrators. Using a semi-structured interview design, this study provided participants in an urban school district in upstate New York, with an opportunity to share their firsthand perspectives on the long-term suspension process and its effects on student identities, school experiences, and future ambitions. Research questions were aligned with Bandura’s self-efficacy theoretical framework. The first research question examined the experiences of students with an emotional disturbance during the long-term suspension process. The second research question explored what, if any, were the perceived effects of the long-term suspension process on students with an emotional disturbance during and after serving their long-term suspension. As a result data collected from the participants, three themes emerged from the first research question: (a) asymmetrical educational experience; (b) communication failure; and (c) self-destructive relationships. In addition, four themes surfaced from the second research question: (a) perceptions of being misunderstood and worthless; (b) set up for failure; (c) public school pipeline to incarceration; and (d) preventable wildfire. The findings from this study suggest that the current long-term suspension process exacerbates the academic failure of the students, and leaves students with a diminished sense of well-being. Participant data revealed that there is consensus that the long-term suspension system, as currently operated, is broken and in need of comprehensive repair.
Brody, Samantha, "Examining the Long-Term Suspension Process for Students Classified with an Emotional Disturbance" (2018). Education Doctoral. Paper 387.
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