Perceptions of Discipline and Student Behavior Intervention at a Middle School

The purpose of this research was to evaluate the perceptions of student behavioral interventions and discipline by parents, students, staff and teachers at a middle school. Review of the literature suggested three main themes. First, it suggested that there are disparities in the amount and types of discipline by race, gender and socioeconomic status. Second, it suggested that effective interventions include a school-wide approach with positive behavior support from an approach titled, School-Wide Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support (SWPBIS). Last, review of the literature suggested that interventions could be effective when they are targeted, involve families and include mentorship opportunities. To evaluate perceptions about student intervention and discipline at this middle school, a survey and interviews were conducted. Survey and interview questions were developed along the themes presented in the review of literature to evaluate who, according to gender and race, is being disciplined at the school, how the school works together to provide intervention and support and what interventions were perceived to be most effective at promoting positive behavior. After conducting research, it appeared that parents, students, teachers and staff had perceived there to be a school-wide program of intervention and discipline in place, but that those systems could be improved in a variety of ways. Parents, teachers and staff members agreed that communication needed to be improved among all stakeholders in promoting positive behaviors on campus. Recommendations include coming to consensus on a common language and program of progressive intervention and discipline among all stakeholders. It is also recommended that communication be improved and increased between the home and school. In addition, each intervention must be re-evaluated and revised based on its effectiveness.