Date of Award

Spring 4-22-2024

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science and International Affairs

Department Chair or Program Director


First Advisor

Lester, Emile

Second Advisor

Martinez, Melissa

Major or Concentration

Political Science


This paper examines the intersection of race, cultural expression, and disciplinary practices within the American education system, focusing on Virginia's school districts. Recent legislative efforts, such as the CROWN Act in Texas, have sought to address discriminatory practices related to cultural expression in schools. Legal actions, like the lawsuit against the Winner School District in South Dakota, have aimed to rectify disparities in disciplinary outcomes for Indigenous students. However, meaningful reform requires more than just legislative and legal interventions; it necessitates a fundamental shift in educational practices to promote inclusivity and cultural sensitivity. This includes diversifying school staff, implementing culturally relevant curricula, and adopting disciplinary policies that recognize and accommodate cultural differences. Drawing on historical precedents and recent initiatives in various states, this paper underscores the need for concerted efforts at all levels of governance to effect meaningful change in school disciplinary practices. Despite the challenges, the examples demonstrate that innovative reforms are possible and essential for fostering a more equitable and inclusive education system.