Cody RichFollow

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Stacy Leggett (Director), Kandy Smith, Kimberlee Everson

Degree Program

Educational Leadership Doctoral Program

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


Disparities in discipline are well documented throughout our nation as the gap continues to increase (Losen et al., 2015; Losen & Skiba, 2016; Raush & Skiba, 2004; The Civil Rights Data Collection, 2014). Though Black students comprise only 16% of the student population in the United States, they account for nearly half of school suspensions and expulsions (The Civil Rights Data Collection, 2014). In the context of RHS (location of this dissertation in practice), Black students encompass nearly 20% of the student population while accounting for approximately 30% of the total number of referrals. More alarming is that administration suspended Black students out of school more often than any other student group, accounting for 49.3% of all out-of-school suspensions.

I began this dissertation in practice by first identifying the context-specific root causes contributing to racial disparities in discipline. Then after an in-depth literature analysis, I planned to implement an intervention to improve the identified root causes to disproportionate discipline, which inevitably would close gaps in office discipline referrals between Black males and their White classmates. Based on statistical analysis, the improvement science model, in conjunction with applying principles of transformational leadership, successfully created a culture and climate conducive to implementing this intervention with fidelity and sustainability at RHS. Though COVID-19 created obstacles that made it unreliable to use ODRs to measure the impact of the intervention on racial disparities in discipline, previous research asserts that fidelity implementation of my chosen intervention has proven to improve racial disparities in discipline. Therefore, based on the successful implementation of my intervention, I concluded racial disparities in discipline will decrease in future years at RHS.


Disability and Equity in Education | Education | Educational Leadership | Secondary Education