Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Social Work

First Advisor

Celeste Hawkins, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Janet Okagbue-Reaves, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Ken Saldanha, Ph.D.


The impact of zero-tolerance, exclusionary discipline, and the school-to-prison pipeline has become increasingly present in research in recent years. Studies centered around zero-tolerance, exclusion, and the school-to-prison pipeline have made the focus of the study boys of color, specifically Black boys. These studies have contributed to the amount of awareness that schools, parents, and the public have about the effects of the unfair punishment practices. However, Black girls have been invisible, criminalized in educational settings, and are at a great risk of encountering the criminal justice system. Over the recent decades, Black girls experience exclusionary discipline almost six times more than White girls and almost seventy percent more than boys (Muñiz, 2021). The aim of this research is to discuss the history behind punitive practices within the school system and put an emphasis on this issue surrounding the effects of disciplinary actions against Black girls in school. The primary population targeted by these punitive practices are students of color.