Award Date

August 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counselor Education, School Psychology, and Human Services

First Committee Member

Samuel Song

Second Committee Member

Scott Loe

Third Committee Member

Katherine Lee

Fourth Committee Member

Sean Mulvenon

Number of Pages



Current zero-tolerance discipline policies are ineffective and contribute to disproportionality in school discipline. Restorative justice practices (RJP) are an equitable alternative approach to exclusionary practices. RJP has been used in schools prior to adequate research informing implementation, which has led to variability in implementation and outcomes. In particular, teacher willingness to participate in the implementation of RJP has been noted to be variable and limited among research studies. It is necessary to explore teacher attitudes to determine what underlies this lack of participation to inform the next steps for RJP implementation in schools. Specifically, since disparities in discipline are related to race, it is important to explore if people’s experiences with white fragility act as barriers to implementation. For this study, secondary data from a district-wide survey given to school personnel in a large urban school district were analyzed to explore the following research questions: Does white fragility affect the implementation of restorative justice practices in schools? If so, how does white fragility affect the implementation of restorative justice practices in schools? And does race impact the effect of white fragility on restorative justice implementation in schools? An analysis of covariance was completed for each of the two subscales on the racial fragility scale to assess the effect of white fragility on restorative justice implementation. No significant results were reported. However, medium effect sizes were reported across both subscales. A phenomenological analysis was conducted on two open-ended survey questions to explore the lived experiences of school personnel implementing RJP, resulting in the following six themes (three associated with each question): empowerment, disproportionately, colorblindness, and social-emotional health, support, and usefulness. Finally, a moderated multiple regression analysis with ordinary least squares estimation using the PROCESS macro model 4.3 for SPSS was conducted. No significant results were reported. Implications of this research for school psychology are discussed.


equity; restorative practices; school discipline; school psychology; white fragility


Educational Psychology

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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