Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Virginia Foley

Committee Members

John Boyd, Ginger Christian, Pamela Scott


The original design of zero-tolerance policies was meant to support school safety through an anti-drug and violence campaign but in the years following their implementation, school districts have employed them repeatedly without merit. Exclusionary practices have become controversial, leading to high rates of recidivism, imbalanced implementation toward minority groups, and the loss of learning while suspended or expelled. Just as effective educators respond and intervene to instructional practices that are not proving successful, an overhaul of disciplinary practices was necessary for academic and emotional health. Restorative practices have emerged in recent years as an alternative process to the antiquated system of exclusionary measures. The previously used disciplinary structure inhibited the education of students, diminished opportunities for relationships to form and flourish, and had the potential to damage the well-being of all students involved in a negative event. In recent years, school districts across the country have recognized a need for improvement in the education system. Educators are spearheading efforts to combat the widespread epidemic of illiteracy and increase the level of college and career readiness. As a result, time, funding, professional development opportunities, and research have been dedicated to support this endeavor. While a number of resources are allotted for instructional purposes, the emotional element of student success is often overlooked, only widening the gap between success and stagnation. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine pre-K through fifth grade teacher perceptions of integrated restorative practices in their respective classrooms and how these practices affected disciplinary measures and intervention.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.