Repeated school suspensions: who receives them, what reasons are given, and how students fare
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CitationWilkerson, K. L., & Afacan, K. (2021). Repeated School Suspensions: Who Receives Them, What Reasons Are Given, and How Students Fare. Education and Urban Society, 00131245211009854.
Although out-of-school school suspensions have been correlated with negative school outcomes, they are still a common formal response given to students whose behavior is deemed problematic. Being suspended multiple times within an academic year results in students losing even more instructional time. In this study, we used longitudinal data for students from elementary to high school to examine: (a) demographic characteristics of students who received repeated out-of-school suspensions across six consecutive years, (b) common infractions that resulted in those school suspensions, and (c) the relationship between repeated suspensions and students’ later academic and behavior outcomes. We found that a high number of male and Black students, as well as students with disabilities, received repeated suspensions with minor infractions reported as the most common reasons. Regression analyses revealed a significant and negative relationship between repeated suspensions in the early grades and the number of suspensions students received in secondary school.