Severity Rating Scale For Disciplinary Infractions and Consequences By Kentucky High School Teachers

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership and School Counseling

First Advisor

Thelma J. Roberson

Advisor Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling


The purpose of this study was to create a severity rating scale for disciplinary infractions and consequences. The participants used in this dissertation were teachers from 14 high schools in central Kentucky. Using a survey instrument created by the researcher, the study examined high school teachers' perceptions of severity of 67 disciplinary infractions and 21 disciplinary consequences. Participants rated the severity of items using a ten-point Likert-type scale. Exploratory factor analysis grouped the disciplinary infractions and consequences into different factors based on severity. The results of the exploratory factor analysis loaded 67 disciplinary infractions into 13 different factors and loaded 21 disciplinary consequences into five different factors. The researcher paired each infraction factor with a consequence factor based on the severity of the factors. The most severe types of infractions included assault of staff, battery on staff, indecent exposure, threatening school personnel, possession/use of drugs, possession of dangerous materials, drug paraphernalia, possession of a weapon, group fights, harassment, threatening students, sexual harassment, indecent acts, bullying, sexual misconduct, assault of a student, behavior that poses a danger to self or others, extortion/blackmail, inappropriate physical contact, and fighting. The most severe types of consequences included expulsion, in-school suspension, alternative education program, and out-of-school suspension. The least severe types of infractions included misuse of passes, failure to bring in homework/materials, public display of affection (PDA), unauthorized driving/parking, littering, unexcused tardies, missing detention, unexcused absence, dress code violation, demonstrating, tobacco possession, failure to serve work detail, gambling, and misuse of computer/Internet. The least severe types of consequences included detention, parent conference, parent notification, student conference, warning, loss of privilege, and in-class disciplinary action. The study was limited to mostly rural high schools in central Kentucky. Therefore, the results cannot be generalized to all schools. Further studies should be conducted in other states and in suburban and urban settings.