Date of Award


Document Type


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Division of Education and Counseling

First Advisor

Renèe Akbar

Second Advisor

Marva Lewis

Third Advisor

Esrom Pitre


Black Males, Special Education, Phenomenology, Lived Experiences, Disproportionate, Achievement


Black males rank highest among students who choose to leave school; are suspended, expelled, or kicked out of school; score poorly on tests; have low GPAs and high rates of referral and placement in special education; and are underrepresented in gifted education (e.g., NCES, 2005; Whiting, 2004) as cited in Whiting (2006a). The purpose of this study was to generate an understanding of the attitudes and beliefs related to special education referral and placement of Black males as perceived by six Black students and their parents. The focus of this phenomenological study was to examine the lived experiences of six Special Education high school students and their parents participating in the Special Education setting in a large urban district in Southeastern Louisiana. The conceptual framework for this study was based on the concept of Critical Race Theory (CRT) (Cole, 2017; Delgado & Stefancic, 2017; Ladson-Billings & Tate, 2016; Yosso, 2006). Key findings suggest that state and federally aligned evaluation procedures, parental involvement/advocacy, and culturally relevant pedagogical practices could serve as a starting point for reducing the number of Black males disproportionately placed in Special Education.



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