unitary status, school discipline, disparity, overrepresentation, out-of-school suspension, Black students
While many school districts in the state of Florida have achieved unitary status and are no longer under court jurisdiction, evidence that school districts continue to practice discipline policies that result in the disproportionate suspension of Black students can be found. Despite decades of desegregation, Black students continue to experience the devastating consequences of suspension and expulsion from school. The overrepresentation of Black students in the administration of school discipline is a serious concern for school districts. This study investigated if the attainment of unitary status resulted in equity in school discipline for Black students. Additionally, the study investigated the overrepresentation of Black students in the administration of school discipline as measured by out-of-school suspensions in the secondary schools of the 67 Florida public school districts in 2005-2006. The study compared the representation of Hispanic and Multiracial students to Black students in the administration of school discipline. The study also examined the effects of grade level (6, 7, 8, and 9) on Black, Hispanic, and Multiracial students in the administration of school discipline. Analysis of the data derived from the Florida Department of Education database for school year 2005-2006 led to the following findings: (1) there was overrepresentation of Black students in secondary schools in the state of Florida and that 42 school districts were not in compliance with unitary status guidelines; (2) Black students were overrepresented in school discipline when compared to Hispanic and Multiracial students; (3) the effect of grade (6, 7, 8, and 9) was not significant in the representation of Black students in school discipline; (4) 18 Florida public school districts have attained unitary status, 16 public school districts remained under court jurisdiction, and 33 public school districts were never subject to desegregation litigation; and, (5) Black students were overrepresented in the administration of school discipline in school districts that have attained unitary status.
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Murray, Barbara A.
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Education
Educational Research, Technology, and Leadership
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Dehlinger, Robin, "An Investigation Into Unitary Status And The Overrepresentation Of Black Students In School Discipline As Measured By Out-of-sch" (2008). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3567.