Sharon LylesFollow




School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Rita Schellenberg


mistreatment, psychologist, school, school psychologist, student, teacher


Child Psychology | Education | Psychology | Student Counseling and Personnel Services


The purpose of this qualitative, transcendental, phenomenological study was to describe school psychologists' experiences with teacher-to-student mistreatment in the Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 educational setting. There are few United States studies presented in the literature on the topic of teacher-to-student mistreatment and its significant negative impact on students from either the teacher or student viewpoint, but no research has been conducted on this issue from the school psychologist's perspective. The central research question addressed by the study was this: What are school psychologists' experiences with teacher-to-student mistreatment? Members of the Virginia Academy of School Psychologists (VASP) and Virginia school psychologists, as identified by the Virginia Department of Education (VADOE), were invited to complete an initial online survey. Of the 139 school psychologists who responded to the survey, six were interviewed and engaged in an online discussion forum for member-checking, follow-up, and feedback purposes. The study indicated that 74.8% (n = 89) of school psychologists acknowledged that teacher-to-student mistreatment exists in the school environment. School psychologists' position is that teacher-to-student mistreatment is ethically and morally inappropriate, and the repercussions can be enduring for the student. The impact of teacher-to-student mistreatment increased the advocacy, collaboration, and consultation duties on the role of a school psychologist. School psychologists expressed a desire to be a preventative, proactive link that encourages early intervention between teachers, students, parents, and administrators.