Committee Chair

Davis, Lloyd


Dept. of Education


College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Discipline in public schools tends to be the primary concern of people today. Disciplinary problems are not necessarily the school's fault. Many of the responsibilities traditionally assigned to the home are now assumed by the schools. Transportation, feeding, child care, substance abuse education, and sex education are just a few responsibilities now initiated by the public school system. Funding for public education has also declined in the past ten years. Because of this, new facilities are not being built to handle overcrowding, more teachers can not be hired to lower student/teacher ratios, and alternative methods of discipline are not being implemented. With these funding problems, it is easy to see why disciplinary problems in schools are not declining. One of the most commonly used methods of discipline is out-of-school suspensions. A student may be removed from the building anywhere from three to ten days. Yet,out-of-school suspensions cause the student to miss learning opportunities that he/she deserves. The fact that the child is often unsupervised at home leaves open numerous possibilities to continue these same misbehaviors. Also, the child may consider out-of-school suspension as a reward rather than punishment. The purpose of this study was to test this hypothesis: correctly implemented, alternative behavior management methods can be more beneficial than out-of-school suspensions. During the 1990-1991 school year, Ooltewah Middle School in Chattanooga, Tennessee documented the use results of alternative discipline methods. The majority of students, 318 students out of 374, given an alternative discipline plan received the discipline only once. The students receiving the alternatives were kept within the school environment where learning was not interrupted. Since 47 out of 65 students disciplined through the use of out-of-school suspensions were suspended more than once, this alternative method seems to be ineffective in modifying student behavior.


M. Ed.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Education.




School discipline; Student suspension; Behavior modification


Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration

Document Type

Masters theses




vii, 78 leaves



Call Number

LB2369.2 .C212 1992