Date of Award

Spring 5-2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

Advisor/Committee Chair

Matthew Ingram, Ph.D.


Exclusionary tactics such as expulsions, suspensions, and school transfers are utilized by public schooling staff for a number of reasons. Generally, they are enforced with the intent of removing ‘problem students’ out of their classrooms. This paper utilizes data provided by the School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS) from the National Center on Education Statistics (NCES) in order to reproduce a more recent version of a 2013 study carried out by Na and Gottfredson which tested the association (a) increased levels of School Resources Officers (SROs) at public schools, and (b) the administration of harsh punishments on students, including expulsions, suspensions, and transfers. The replication will seek to demonstrate relationships between an increased use of harsh punishments in public schools between 2007-08 and 2015-16 and a number of common variables cited as contributing to the school-to-prison pipeline (SSP). While the data does not clearly identify each cited SPP risk factor in the existing literature, a strong relationship is found between the administration of harsh punishments and both (1) the location of a school in areas of high crime and (2) schools with either high minority populations or a high rate of students who perform below the fifteenth percentile on standardized tests.