Faith Ivey

Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department or School

Leadership and Counseling

Committee Member

Ronald Williamson, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

David Anderson, PhD

Committee Member

Patrice Bounds, PhD

Committee Member

Jaclynn Tracy, PhD


The purpose of this study was to gain and examine the parent and caretaker perspectives of African American male students and their out-of-school suspensions during middle school. African American male students are similar to an archipelago; although this group of students are a part of the school, they are slowly drifting away. The participants in this study included six African American parents from Midwestern Michigan whose sons did not primarily experience out-of-school suspensions prior to middle school. All of the participants voluntarily provided candid insight and background information on their son’s agency and school experience. The parents also provided school-related reasons for their son’s school suspensions as well as personal reasons they believe attributed to their son’s behavior in school. I interpreted the parent responses through the critical race theory and the ecological theory lens and methodological frameworks. Exploring the findings of the parents provided depth and scope into a phenomenon that has been researched for over 30 years. It also served to broaden the understanding of societal factors that have impeded and negatively influenced educational stakeholders, with the hope of future positive school-related outcomes for African American male students.

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