Student suspension: A critical reappraisal
- Cite this article as:
- Wu, SC., Pink, W., Crain, R. et al. Urban Rev (1982) 14: 245. doi:10.1007/BF02171974
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This paper analyzes national level data, gathered for the Safe School Study, to directly address the question, “Why are students suspended from school?” Data are available on students in both junior and senior high schools from a representative sample of the nation's schools. Using a range of analytical techniques, the paper attempts to tease out the relationships between (1) student misbehavior at varying types of schools and suspension rates, (2) the effects of teacher judgments and attitudes, (3) the effect of administrative structures, (4) the effect of perceived academic potential, and (5) the effect of racial bias. It is concluded that suspension rates cannot be regarded as a simple reflection of student misbehavior in school, but rather as the result of a complex of factors grounded in the ways schools operate. Suspension rates are best predicted by (1) knowing the kind of school a student went to, and (2) knowing how that school was run.