Darensbourg, A., Perez, E., & Blake, J. 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(2), 196-211.
African American males are at increased risk for experiencing disciplinary practices that exclude them from the school environment. It is believed that African American males’ overrepresentation in the receipt of these practices contributes to their involvement in the criminal justice system as they approach adolescence and enter adulthood. The connection of exclusionary discipline with incarceration rates is termed the School to Prison Pipeline. Although some scholars have identified school-wide initiatives as having potential in curtailing African American males’ overrepresentation in these punitive discipline practices, less discussion has focused on the role of school-based mental health professionals to address this issue. School-based mental health professionals possess a unique set of skills that may assist schools in decreasing African American males’ exposure to exclusionary discipline practices and consequently reducing their risk for adverse outcomes. The purpose of this review is to provide school-based mental health professionals with specific recommendations for reducing this negative educational experience.