Graduation Term


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Criminal Justice Sciences

Committee Chair

Charles C.B. Bell


The school-to-prison pipeline has sparked debate about disciplinary measures amongpolicymakers and school officials. Despite extensive research into student violence, there is little data on the age at which students start using violence in school. This study uses a critical qualitative analysis to determine what age or grade level students understand the importance of fighting, respect, and social status. I conducted the study's research in the Midwest, primarily focusing on students suspended after fighting in Chicago and Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. The Code of the School will be utilized as a theoretical basis to explore this qualitative study of African American students and parents' experiences with fighting and school suspensions. According to this research study, students feel unsafe at school, and the code of the school begins as early as fifth grade or age 10-11. Furthermore, the research concluded that the number of elementary and middle school students suspended has risen in cities of the Midwest in the past few years. This study offers practical recommendations for school administrators, teachers, parents, students, and policymakers.


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