Graduate Program

Educational Administration

Degree Name

Education Specialist (EdS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Harry Merigis


The Illinois Constitution guarantees every child an opportunity to receive an education. However, when a child commits an act of gross disobedience or misconduct as defined by the school board, the student's right to an education may be temporarily withheld. [122 Ill. Rev. Stat. 10 - 22.6 (1979)].

The Illinois School Code, (Sec. 24-24), states "that teachers and other certificated educational employees shall maintain discipline in the schools".

It is the responsibility of the School Board and the Administration to provide rules of conduct for student behavior, and standards of student conduct should define the basic rules and major expectations of students in their school district in order to protect the health, safety, welfare, and morals of its students.

This field experience research thesis on school discipline should be of assistance to any school district desiring to write or revise school board policy on discipline. It is incumbent upon every district to adopt and enforce its own guidelines for the administration of corporal punishment, detentions, in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, and expulsion. The guidelines and procedures used for acts of misconduct should be consistent, fair, and reasonable.

Parents should be consulted when a student is truant, disruptive in class, displays a poor attitude toward school, has excessive absences and tardies, is disrespectful to teachers and other students, is a constant behavior problem, appears to lack academic motivation, and so on.

The rights and responsibilities of students and parents should also be written into board policy and made available in the form of a "Handbook" for students and parents.

With a declining enrollment it is becoming imperative that one take preventative or alternative measures to keep students in school. Educators must provide incentives to meet the student's needs and instill a desire for them to continue their education.

Therefore, it is the responsibility of the school district to provide a positive environment in which learning can take place, and to increase school attendance by providing alternative programs that deal with students who are constantly disruptive.

This thesis offers several model alternative education programs for handling the mildly disruptive student with an emphasis on counseling, parent conferences, and testing. Alternatives are also suggested for the highly disruptive student who is a potential dropout – by choice or by board action.

Counseling, remedial work, and emphasis on basics are characteristics of the alternative programs and can be used successfully to mainstream the disruptive student back to his/her regular school or classroom. When all attempts to keep a student in school have failed it is prudent to follow procedure that guarantees the student and his parent/guardian "due process" before going to the Board for final action to expel.