Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Learning

First Committee Member

Christine Clark

Second Committee Member

Norma Marrun

Third Committee Member

Steven Bickmore

Fourth Committee Member

Lisa Bendixen

Number of Pages



Tasked with ensuring that school environments are safe and orderly, school administrators spend an increasingly inordinate amount of time and energy on managing student discipline. Often, when students commit egregious behaviors or violate school policy, schools resort to out-of-school disciplinary consequences, i.e. suspension, expulsion, or alternative educational placements, in attempts to reduce problem behaviors from recurring. Historically though, these exclusionary discipline practices have led to the unfair treatment of some students, (e.g., Black/African American students, male students, and/or students with disabilities). This disproportionate practice is often cited as the genesis for the school-to prison pipeline phenomenon. From a behaviorist perspective, exclusionary discipline practices are practically ineffective in reshaping the behaviors of students with challenging behavioral concerns or reducing recidivate behaviors, long-term, especially if the function of the behavior isn’t addressed; some may even be inappropriate for simple behavioral compliance, especially from students with behavioral skill deficits. Moreover, evidence points out that there are a large number of exclusionary discipline consequences administered for less egregious offenses, (i.e., incidents that may not have warranted a punitive consequence in the first place), further adding to disproportionate data, nationwide. Consequently, schools are now tasked with exploring alternatives to exclusionary discipline practices through the implementation of proactive/preventative systems in an effort to prevent undesirable student behaviors, address these behavioral skill deficits, decrease the rate of OSS discipline consequences, eliminate disproportionate discipline practices, and interrupt the school to-prison pipeline phenomenon.


Alternatives to suspension; Disproportionality; Exclusionary discipline practices; Out-of-school suspension; proactive Preventative; School-to-prison pipeline


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Teacher Education and Professional Development

File Format


File Size

3200 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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