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***Post written by Annastashia Teepe***

School Psychologists Can Contribute to Questions of Discipline

Racial and ethnic disparities in school discipline have been identified as important factors contributing to key differences in educational outcomes (Blake, Booth, Marchbank & Seibert, 2014). As reported by Blake and others (2014), most frequently individuals of color are more likely to be out of school suspended than white peers. However, school psychologists possess a unique set of skills including data analysis, problem-solving and consultation that can be used to help administration at the building and district levels to address the issue of racial and ethnic disparities in school discipline (Darensbourg, Pere & Blake, 2010). Root cause analysis can determine if a student is frequently being referred by one teacher or by many teachers which may answer questions about difficulties between student and one staff member or if a more macro-level analysis needs to occur (Blake, Gregory, James, Webb-Hasan (2016). Advocating for our role in disciplinary problem-solving teams is an effective way to ensure school psychologists make use of these sets of skills.


Blake, J. J., Booth, E. A., Marchbanks, M., & Seibert, A. (2014, August). The effects of repeated exclusionary discipline on juvenile justice involvement. Paper presented in J. J.  Black (Chair) “The role of school psychologists in dismantling the school to prison pipeline” symposium at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Washington, D. C.

Blake, J.J., Gregory, A., James, M., Webb-Hasan, G. (2016). Early warning signs: Identifying opportunities to disrupt racial inequities through data-based decision making. School Psychology Forum, 10, (3), 289-206.

Darensbourg, A., Perez, E. & Blake, J. (2010). Overrepresentation of African American males in exclusionary discipline: The role of school-based mental health professionals in dismantling the school to prison pipeline. Journal of African American Males in Education, 1, 196-211.