Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Jeong-eun Rhee, PhD

Second Advisor

Heather Parrott, PhD

Third Advisor

Lena Perez, PsyD


As a Latina school psychologist, I use Latinx Critical Race framework with testimonios as methodology to document the individual and collective experiences and perspectives of six Latinx school psychologists in urban and suburban school settings regarding the role that race plays in the special education process. Their testimonios reveal how they are racialized in their profession through their intersecting identities of race, ethnicity, culture, and language. In particular, they testify to their everyday experiences of racial microaggressions, in which they are viewed through a deficit lens by supervisors, colleagues, and the parents of the students they serve. In addition, their testimonios describe how they experience emotional distress because of vicarious racism (Harrell, 2000) they experience when they witness the racism that students of color experience in the special education process. The collective voices of these Latinx school psychologists tell a story of how, despite the challenges they experience, they negotiate with racial disparities in multiple ways. First, they acknowledge and challenge racist-dominant ideologies that White teachers and other school staff hold towards students of color. Secondly, they recognize how a student’s race, ethnicity, and language puts them at risk of being classified with a disability and disproportionately recommended to special education. Thirdly, the participants address (a) the misuse of IQ testing by making visible how intelligence tests are racially biased when used with students of color and (b) the importance of considering factors such as race, ethnicity, culture, language, and educational background during the decision-making process. Finally, they share a sense of obligation to support parents of color in navigating the special education system. This study is a valuable contribution to the field of school psychology because of the limited research on the experiences and perspectives of Latinx school psychologists. Through the lens of Latinx school psychologists, this study also provides critical insights about the special education process for other educators and stake holders.