Background: Internationally students identified for discipline tend to have emotional and behavioural challenges. Research suggests that this phenomenon occurs due to teacher/administrator interpretation of the under specified definitions of emotional and behaviour problems leading to a significantly large number of them being excluded from their peers and normal learning environments. Rationale: In New Zealand, the Ministry of Education suspension and stand-down data consistently indicate that the disciplinary term "continual disobedience" (CD) constitutes the single largest category for high school students being suspended and the second largest category for students being stood -down. Yet this term is not clearly defined in their documents and guidelines to schools. The aim of the study was to understand how schools define and operationalise the the term "continual disobedience". Methodology: This presentation draws from focus groups held in five high schools across New Zealand with staff involved in disciplinary matters that explored the understandings of teachers and school staff regarding their school policies and behaviours considered as “continual disobedience”. Findings: The term CD was under-defined, with schools having different ways to define and respond to continually disobedient behaviours that resulted in the term being applied to a group of behaviours with a range of consequences.