Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Teaching and Learning Sciences, Child, Family, and School Psychology

First Advisor

Tara C. Raines

Second Advisor

Nicholas Cutforth

Third Advisor

Devadrita Talapatra

Fourth Advisor

Tayana Hardin


Discipline, School psychologist, School resource officer, School to prison pipeline


In recent years, there has been a dramatic spike in student arrests for behaviors that previously fell under the auspices of suspensions, expulsions, or family consultations. Black and Latinx students receive discipline and law enforcement referrals at superfluous levels compared to White peers. Additionally, the disproportionate and aggressive referral of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students for disciplinary action are often for infractions that are considered less severe than the actions of their White counterparts. Punitive discipline advances school-based pathways to the juvenile justice system (SPJJ), formerly known as the school to prison pipeline (STPP). School psychologists are poised for involvement in disciplinary considerations and action in schools.

This dissertation investigates practices that support collaborative practices between school psychologists and school resource officers (SRO), specifically pertaining to disciplinary measures and law enforcement referrals that disproportionately impact Black youth. Manuscript One offers an examination of current school discipline and school resource officer literature. The review of literature demonstrates a gap in research related to the role of SROs and how school psychologists are primed to collaborate with school resource officers. Considering the gap, partnership domains between SROs and school psychologists are proposed. Manuscript One holds the potential to improve relationships between SROs and school psychologists, naming school psychologists to act as an ally for students of color, especially when it comes to disciplinary actions. Consequently, Manuscript Two details a qualitative case study examining the roles and experiences of fourteen SROs employed at a local school district. Descriptive case context and within case thematic analysis further define SROs and their duties. Derived from the findings, school psychologists and SROs are asked to collaborate to diminish SPJJ. Recommendations include: school psychologists training SROs in multiple areas, building robust memorandum of understanding, full transparency about discipline data, and universally implementing positive, trauma-informed practices.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Alexis Sliva


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

189 pgs


Law enforcement, Education, Psychology