Education Specialist (EdS)
Semester of Degree Completion
Donald W. Smitley
Class disruptions caused by unwanted student behavior account for lost instruction time and reduce the amount of learning that can take place within the school setting. There were three purposes of this study. The first purpose was to determine how detentions and suspensions were used to discourage disruptive and unwanted student behavior by southern Illinois high school administrators responsible for student discipline. A second purpose of the study was to determine the extent of satisfaction of southern Illinois high school administrators responsible for student discipline with current discipline procedures being used. The third purpose of the study was to identify discipline procedures other than detentions and suspensions that southern Illinois high school administrators responsible for student discipline perceived as successful in changing unwanted student behavior.
A survey instrument was designed by the author to retrieve information concerning the types and methods of discipline used to reduce unwanted student behavior. Southern Illinois high school administrators responsible for student discipline were asked to respond to questions concerning detentions, suspensions, length of time a student must serve, when these consequences must be served and who monitors these consequences. Respondents were also given adequate space to enter information about discipline procedures other than detentions and suspensions they were using which had been successful in discouraging unwanted student behavior in their schools.
Ninety-eight percent of responding southern Illinois administrators reported using detention as a consequence for unwanted student behavior. A teacher was usually hired to monitor those students who received detentions. A majority of the schools required students to stay before or after school for a period of 30 minutes. If a Saturday detention was required, the student was typically there for a period of three and a half or four hours.
Eighty percent of responding southern Illinois high school administrators reported that they believed detentions discouraged unwanted student behavior. Most of the respondents also indicated that changes in detention procedures had been made during their tenures as administrators.
All responding southern Illinois high school administrators reported using suspensions to control student behavior. Seventy-four percent of those administrators used both in-school and out-of-school suspensions to discipline students. Eighty-eight percent of the administrators indicated a belief that suspensions did discourage unwanted student behavior. Schools were about evenly divided on individuals responsible for monitoring in-school suspensions amoung an administrator, a faculty member and a teacher aide.
Sixty-seven percent of the responding administrators indicated they had made changes in their school's discipline procedures. The three most reported changes were:
1. Curricula - Some schools had developed more "hands on" curricula for the purpose of increasing student interest.
2. Saturday detentions - Some schools had established the use of Saturday detentions for students who exhibited unwanted behavior.
3. Establishment of point systems - Some schools had established point systems by which students received points each time they misbehaved. The more serious the offenses, the more points the students were given. A running total was kept for each student. Several minor offenses would result in a major consequence.
Oyler, Les, "Current Discipline Procedures Used in Southern Illinois High Schools" (1998). Masters Theses. 1723.