Martinez, Margie (2014-04). The Perceptions of Black High School Students Regarding Their Experiences Prior to an Assignment to a District Alternative Educational Placement: A Phenomenological Single Case Study. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological single case study was to understand the perceptions of Black high school students regarding their experiences prior to being sent to a district's discipline alternative educational placement (DAEP). The intent of this study was to use the findings to positively inform school principals' practices related to the disproportionate number of Black students' exclusionary consequences in school discipline. This research was guided by one major question - What are the perceptions of Black high school students regarding their experiences prior to an assignment to a DAEP? Through purposive sampling, seven Black high school students who were assigned to the DAEP participated in the study. There were a total of 13 individual semi-structured interviews conducted with the participants. Each first interview lasted approximately one hour and each second interview was between 30-40 minutes. The semi-structured interviews were audio-taped and transcribed. Additionally, the participants' school documents were examined for trends in the data. Inductive analyses of the data were conducted and saturation of common themes occurred through open coding, axial coding, and selective coding of the information. The most pertinent finding to emerge, with the potential to impact principals' practices, indicated that Black students in this study responded according to their perception of being heard, respected, and understood by the principal or authority figure on campus. When students perceived their input was valued, and that they were received with dignity, discipline consequences were typically accepted without protest.The opposite occurred when students perceived they were disrespected by the principal and in turn their behaviors became more aggressive and discipline consequences became more exclusionary.

ETD Chair

  • Irby, Beverly  Regents Professor and Senior Associate Dean; Marilyn Kent Byrne Endowed Chair for Student Success

publication date

  • April 2014