Publication Date

Spring 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

Marlon Cummings, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Lionel Allen, Jr.

Third Advisor

Saundra Mickles, Ph.D.


Trauma-informed practices represent a departure from the status-quo disciplinary practices originating from zero-tolerance approaches. This departure from the status-quo represents a transformative change in schools. Teachers are often the initial responders to student struggles or misbehaviors, and the teacher’s response is conditioned by their belief system, their self-efficacy, and the norms of the school where they teach. The shift to supportive school discipline approaches, such as trauma-informed practices, may alter the formal discipline norms of the school, but the shift may not transfer to the teacher’s belief systems, their sense of self-efficacy with trauma, or the informal norms of the school at the classroom level. The goal of this study was to examine the differences observed in schools undergoing the implementation of traumainformed practices as it relates to the attributes of OLC (OLC). The causal-comparative study found some associations between the attributes of OLC and the strength of implementation of trauma-informed practices. Attributes of OLC that produced significant levels of variance included a) clarity and support of a collective mission, vision, or purpose; and b) belief, trust, and readiness related to change. Cultivating an OLC, particularly supporting the attributes of shared vision and belief in the change, can impact the implementation of transformative change such trauma-informed practices in place of zero-tolerance discipline approaches.