Date of Award

Spring 4-13-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Bruce Campbell Jr., Ph. D.

Second Advisor

Peggy Hickman, Ph. D.

Third Advisor

Trent McLaurin, Ph. D.


A phenomenological qualitative study using Critical Race Theory and counter-storytelling was completed to investigate what K-12 public schools should be doing to keep young people out of the school-to-prison pipeline (STPP). This study took place in a large city in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Interviews were completed with former students of the researcher who were previously incarcerated, educational professionals, and justice system professionals. Additionally, observations of the court systems and document reviews were completed in order to triangulate findings. Themes emerged around factors that lead to incarceration and the preferred practices to support young people to avoid or escape incarceration.