Middle and High School Principals' Perceptions of Exclusionary Discipline Practices

Julia Male Nelson, Tennessee State University


As concerns for school violence have risen, disciplinary policies and practices have become stricter. Middle and high school principals and assistant principals are relied upon to react to student behavior by assessing discipline in the schools. While data have been collected on student outcomes from strict discipline policies, few studies were found on principals’ perceptions of disciplinary practices within the school. The purpose of this study was to determine if there were any differences between middle and high school assistant principals’ and principals’ perceptions toward disciplinary practices. The study examined the specific variables of gender, years of administrative experience, degree level, number of times of zero-tolerance incidents, and in-school and out-of-school suspensions. This study utilized a quantitative research design. A descriptive survey method was used to gather quantitative data and to quantify the perceptions of principals and assistant principals of middle and high schools. The population of this study consisted of 76 middle and high school principals and assistant principals in Rutherford County, Tennessee. The Chi-Square test was used to test the null hypotheses. The Chi-Square tests resulted in no significant differences for each of the null hypotheses. There was no variability among the variables when comparing them to the perceptions of suspension as an effective form of discipline. Therefore, no statistical analysis could be completed on the data. The results of this research indicate that the principals and assistant principals perceived that the utilization of zero tolerance and suspension are effective forms of discipline when maintaining order in their schools.

Subject Area

School administration

Recommended Citation

Julia Male Nelson, "Middle and High School Principals' Perceptions of Exclusionary Discipline Practices" (2016). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI10158676.