A qualitative study of minority leadership and its impact on referrals of minority students to out-of-school and in-school discipline placements.
This study investigates the impacts of the decisions made by administrators of color on students of color that attend secondary campuses in the Jefferson Independent School District (JISD). In this school district, administrators discipline students of color at a higher rate than students of other races in the school district. This qualitative multiple case study will describe the impact of People of Color leadership within the JISD. It will assess how their leadership impacts the referral of students of color to out-of-school and in-school disciplinary placements. The results of this study will focus on the distinct ways administrators of color think through their discipline process when disciplining BIPOC students and how administrators of color lived experiences contributed to making discipline decisions for BIPOC students. This study engages the topic of hegemony by explaining the effect of power relationships between campus administrators and students of color. Critical Race Theory (Bell, 1995) and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (Ladson-Billings, 1995, 1998, 1999) provide a substantial base for administrators to create a school culture that welcomes differences. Hiring a culturally diverse faculty is an integral part of creating a welcoming academic culture. When a school's faculty is as diverse as the students they serve, the campus culture integrates everyone's culture into curriculum and relationships. By engaging in CRT and CRP practices, educators and students can overcome the underlying hegemonic ideology that defines school culture and practice. This qualitative multiple case study draws on data about the number of students of color with in-school and out-of-school discipline placements from the Texas Education Agency. This research also uses semi-structured interviews from administrators of color to understand how their lived and work experiences shape their approach to disciplining students of color. The research is important because it creates a picture of how administrators' of color experiences can decrease the high amount of in-school and out-of-school discipline placements of students of color in the school district.