Perceptions of anti-blackness and the school-to-prison pipeline

There is a myriad of data regarding racism, criminal justice, and the school-to-prison pipeline, however more insight is needed to better understand the relationships between these phenomena. This research study explores the following: 1) how do school social workers understand anti-blackness and the school-to-prison pipeline; 2) what factors do school social workers believe contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline: 3) what are the experiences of school social workers in dealing with anti-blackness in education. These questions were explored through an in-depth literature review and eight qualitative interviews with social workers engaged with the Sacramento region public education system. Research participants were recruited via snowball sampling. In addition, this research utilized two theoretical approaches to guide research analysis and the review of relevant literature. The prominent themes, which emerged from interviews, reflected an overwhelming need for changes in school discipline policies and procedures to reduce the pervasiveness of anti-black practices in education. The implications of this research can affect future policy directions and social work practice.