A study of selected disciplinary referrals and a report of disciplinary practices in three public junior high schools in Portsmouth, Virginia

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The purpose of this study was to determine the ten most common disciplinary offenses, examine selected disciplinary referrals, and report disciplinary practices in three public junior high schools in Portsmouth, Virginia, during the 1978-79 school year. The writer also investigated the possible influence of certain variables on disciplinary referrals such as sex, a written Code of Conduct issued to the students, ethnic origin, economic status, and the one-parent or guardian family.

The following statistical techniques were employed in the analysis of data: 1) t-test for differences in percentages, 2) Pearson r Correlation Coefficient, 3) t-test for correlation difference from zero, and 4) t-test for differences in proportion.

Results suggest: 1) Treating Disruptive Classroom Behavior according to student choice of extinguishing punishment appeared to lower the rate of repeat violations. 2) When there is a great disparity between teachers' and students' points of view regarding the severity of an offense, there is a moderate correlation with the increased number of students referred for disciplinary action. 3) Issuing a Code of Conduct to students appeared to reduce the number of non-repeat referrals. 4) The boys, economically disadvantaged students, and one-parent family students received a disproportionate number of referrals. Minority group member students did not receive a disproportionate number of referrals.