Preferred Name

Maya Rivers

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Tiffany Hornsby

Tammy Gilligan

Deborah Kipps-Vaughan


The disproportionate use of punitive discipline practices with students of color in American school systems is prevalent among many sources of literature. Consequently, student experiences and perceptions of school climate are often tainted, which has yielded school-wide initiatives to improve in these areas. As school psychologists work to improve school climate with the goal of decreasing the racial discipline gap, they may consider strategies to improve the school’s racial climate. Using the School Climate for Diversity – Secondary Scale (Byrd, 2017), the current study explored what relationship, if any, exists between school racial climate and discipline at the secondary level. Perceptions of school racial climate were also examined across different racial and ethnic groups. Results indicated that there are differences in perceptions of school racial climate between students of different racial/ethnic groups; however, there was no significant relationship between school racial climate and self-reported discipline history. Implications for future research and school psychologists’ practice are discussed.



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