The Urban Review

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 245–303 | Cite as

Student suspension: A critical reappraisal

  • Shi-Chang Wu
  • William Pink
  • Robert Crain
  • Oliver Moles


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.


High School Representative Sample National Level Level Data Senior High School 
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Copyright information

© Agathon Press, Inc 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shi-Chang Wu
    • 1
  • William Pink
    • 2
  • Robert Crain
    • 3
  • Oliver Moles
    • 4
  1. 1.Johns Hopkins UniversityUSA
  2. 2.University of Nebraska at OmahaUSA
  3. 3.Johns Hopkins UniversityUSA
  4. 4.National Institute of EducationUSA

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