Emotional Behavioral Students and Discipline

Degree Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

John Braun

Second Advisor

Laura Wangsness Willemsen

Third Advisor

Ric Dressen


In this dissertation, I examined the complex issue of discipline decisions for EBD (emotional behavioral disorder) students from the viewpoint of administrators, teachers, and parents. Drawing from a qualitative, narrative analysis approach to explore and understand the views of administrators and teachers regarding EBD students, this study highlights obstacles to using positive proven methods of discipline for EBD students in order to advance further equitable, systemic approaches to better support the behavior of middle school EBD students. This dissertation advances four main arguments: 1) low level behaviors are manageable for teachers; 2) high level behaviors prove to be complex; 3) general discipline plans are not available to the community; 4) naming proactive discipline strategies is difficult for teachers. As such, this study reveals the disciplinary and equity struggles that students who battle with EBD face on a daily basis in United States’ schools.

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