Elementary School Administrator Training in the Area of Handling Student Discipline
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School safety is the utmost priority for an elementary school administrator and is high on the list of public concerns. The intent of this study was to identify the professional development that Virginia Elementary School principals receive in the area of handling student discipline. The study addressed the following research questions: (a) to what extent do current elementary school administrators receive training in the area of handling student discipline; (b) to what extent do elementary school administrators receive training in the area of handling student discipline in principal preparation coursework; (c) what are the most prevalent topics when administrators receive training in the area of handling student discipline; and (d) what future training, in the area of handling student discipline, do elementary school administrators need?This descriptive, quantitative study included a survey, created by the researcher that was used to collect data from 103 elementary school administrators. The results indicate that the administrators did not receive comprehensive training in the area of handling student discipline. In particular, training regarding suspensions and minority overrepresentation was severely lacking while the training around safety and security was the most prevalent. Forty-nine percent of the administrators indicated that their principal preparation programs did not address student discipline in a required coursework. The results of this study provide school district leaders with information on current gaps in the area of student discipline included in professional development provided to elementary school administrators in principal preparation programs and during their tenure as administrators.