SCHOOL REFUSAL BEHAVIOR: EXAMINING TEACHERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF SCHOOL REFUSAL BEHAVIOR OF SECONDARY STUDENTS
Students need to be in attendance at school in order to learn. One concern for schools is when students refuse to attend school on a regular basis. School refusal behavior encompasses all subsets of problematic absenteeism, such as truancy, school phobia, and anxiety. Students dealing with school refusal is a behavior that is multi-faceted. Often times, these students are experiencing psychological matters that are presenting as the symptom of school refusal. The purpose of this study was to survey general education and special education secondary teachers on their perceptions of student absences and to ascertain how they motivate students to attend their classes. The study was centered on two research questions: (1) ‘What are the perceptions of secondary teachers on student absences?’and (2) ‘Are students who exhibit school refusal behavior more likely to be identified as students with special education needs?’ The sample size for this study was 78 certified teachers at an urban high school in the Midwest. The high school had 1,834 students enrolled for the 2020/2021 school year in 9th through 12th grade, with 238 students designated as having special education services. An online survey was created using Google Forms. The survey was designed to not collect respondents’ email addresses to ensure anonymity and was limited to one response per unique email address. The survey did not ask any identifying information such as number of years teaching, subjects taught, etc. Twenty-six completed surveys were returned, for a return rate of 33%.