School leadership response in the aftermath of adolescent suicide
AuthorHolaway, Kimberlee Ann Hymer
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this research was to examine the decisions made by school leaders in the aftermath of a student suicide in the context of the four frames of organizational leadership as described by Bolman and Deal (1989). The four frames were: structural, human resource, political, and symbolic. The researcher obtained an understanding of the leadership behaviors through the use of two qualitative research methods: interview and document analysis. This study utilized a case study of one middle school located in southern Arizona and a second case study of one high school from the same school district. Both schools experienced a student suicide one to two years prior to the data collection for this study. The case studies examined the leadership decisions and strategies implemented by the principal and others in relationship to the suicidal death of the student. Some of the implications for educators were staff training, crisis response handbook, printed guidelines discouraging student memorials, district crisis team, staff training, assessing the impact of the student death, unwillingness of suicide victims' parents to accept their son's death as a suicide, assisting the parents in planning the memorial service, and consistently implemented crisis response activities. The two schools provided very different looks at how school leaders responded and the myriad of decisions that were made in the aftermath of a student suicide. The four frames of organizational leadership provided a powerful lens from which to view those leadership decisions.
Degree ProgramGraduate College