University of New Hampshire
Social Work and Women's Studies
Mentor: Dr.Vernon Carter, Department of Social Work
Kindergarten To Prison
The school-to-prison pipeline metaphor represents an educational environment that allows public schools to push many at-risk children out of school and into the juvenile justice or the adult criminal justice system (Wald & Losen, 2003; Lynn, 2010; Tuzzolo & Hewitt, 2006). The purpose of this study is to examine the possible disproportionate rates of suspensions when comparing African American female students with Caucasian female students in the public-school system. Previous research of the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) (2011-2012) found African American females (pre-school through twelfth grade) were six times as likely to be suspended compared to Caucasian females in school (Nix, 2017). This research will take a narrower focus and concentrate on geographical difference in these suspensions, examining 5 Southern States vs. 5 New England states. This research will utilize the CRDC from the years of 2013-2014. This is a national data set which contains the suspension rates of children from Pre-school through twelfth grade. The negative effects of retributive disciplinary measures in school settings are well documented. In the course of the research, we will explore the possible disproportionate removal of African American girls from school by expelling and suspending them via disciplinary policies that are supposed to help these children according to the school systems. Instead, the disproportionate disciplinary policies may have a negative effect on the African American girls that may decrease their likelihood of academic success and increase their chances of becoming involved with the criminal justice system (Acevedo, 2016).