School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Russell G. Yocum


expulsion, suspension, at-risk students, student reentry, reinstatement


Educational Leadership


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was used to understand the lived experience of ninth through twelfth-grade high school expelled students and their perception of support when returning to their home campus in "Pecan Canyon School District" (a pseudonym). This qualitative study examined existing research on exclusionary discipline and documents the expulsion and reentry processes the students faced when leaving and returning to their home campuses. The research, deeply rooted in Moustakas's approach to transcendental phenomenology, has produced a description text of life. Transcendental phenomenology is an attitude of approaching lived experience. Short-term expulsion was the removal of students for a period not to exceed the remainder of the current school quarter or semester. Permanent expulsion was the removal of a student for the remainder of the current school year but not beyond one full school term. The research analyzed the academic school year, 2022–2023. The study consisted of three high school African American females and seven high school African American male students varying in ages from 15-19. The participants selected attended a discipline-based alternative program before returning to their home school. Data were collected through student interviews involving an informal, interactive process utilizing open-ended questions; electronic journal questions allowed students to share their experiences in a relaxed environment; and the focus group consisted of the four returning students sharing their experiences. The research revealed the following six themes: frustrating alternative school experiences, no relationship with peers, no support from teachers and counselors in transition, support from family members, coping strategies, and changes in behavior.