Source: (2011) Dissertation. Degree for Doctor of Education Administrator Leadership. Walden University.

Studies continue to reveal major concerns with discipline issues, such as referrals, detentions, and suspensions, involving Latino/Hispanic students. This problem particularly affects immigrant students in urban neighborhoods that may be characterized by high poverty and crime rates. The purpose of this study was to explore the intersection of servant leadership and restorative justice practices in schools, in order to create a new theory as a way to address discipline problems associated with Latino/Hispanic students at one middle school. The conceptual framework for this study was based on Greenleaf‘s servant leadership, and Cavanagh‘s restorative justice practices models, both of which exemplify the importance of caring relationships. The study was guided by the research question of how might the common principles of servant leadership and restorative justice practices be used in schools to create a new theory for how teacher leaders respond to Latino/Hispanic wrongdoing and conflict. Using grounded theory, data were collected from 20 teachers from grades K-4, who participated in interviews using openended questions; data also included classroom observations, and examination of discipline documents. Constant comparative analysis was used to note the emergence of themes and patterns that formed the basis of the findings. The findings indicated that teachers who modeled tenets of servant leadership and restorative justice practices had fewer discipline issues with Latino/Hispanic students. These findings led to the development of the interdependent relationship theory, based on a model of classroom discipline that creates positive, caring relationships. Implications for social change include improved retention and high school graduation for Latino/Hispanic students. (author's abstract)