Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Special Education

Major Professor

Ann Cranston-Gingras, Ph.D.


Discipline, Zero tolerance, Interviews, Themes, Manifestation determination


This study examined how the expulsion process works for seven male ninth grade students identified as emotionally disturbed and in particular, the perceptions students, their parents, five district representatives, and five high school administrators involved in an expulsion have of the process. Furthermore, the study investigated through in-depth interviews possible differences in perceptions between those students who are expelled, parents, and key education personnel involved in expulsion decisions. Computer-based qualitative data analysis software was used to organize and analyze the collected data. Results of the study indicate that the two primary key stakeholder participants; students and their parents, shared predominately similar perceptions of the expulsion process. These perceptions differed from the secondary key stakeholders, high school administrators and district representatives, whose perceptions were also predominately similar to each other. The students and parents' responses indicate that they did not understand the expulsion procedures and did not feel as though the expulsion decision was unanimous. District representatives and high school administrators' responses indicated that they felt trained and familiar with expulsion procedures; they understood the expulsion procedures and perceived that the placement options and decisions were made by a unanimous group decision.