Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 301–314 | Cite as

Exclusionary Discipline for English Learners: A National Analysis

  • Denise K. WhitfordEmail author
  • Antonis Katsiyannis
  • Jennifer Counts
  • Kelly M. Carrero
  • Michael Couvillon
Review Paper


Exclusionary discipline disproportionally effect students from underrepresented groups and English Learners are one group that has received minimal attention in this area. Using data from the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Civil Rights Data Collection, we examined exclusionary discipline practices (i.e., suspensions and expulsions) involving English Learners with and without disabilities. English Learners comprised 10.1% of the student population. Nationally, odds of exclusion for English Learners with and without disabilities ranged from OR = 0.02 to OR = 0.05, but varied drastically by individual states (range: OR= 0.08 to OR = 7.79). Implications for research, policy, and practice are discussed.


English Learner EL Special education Discipline Exclusion 



The authors would like to thank Hakeem Wahab, Statistical Consultant in the Purdue College of Science, Department of Statistics, for his assistance with SAS coding and output interpretation.

Author Contributions

D.K.W. designed and executed the study, ran data analyses, and collaborated with the writing and editing of the final manuscript. A.K. collaborated with the design, writing, and editing of the study and manuscript. J.C. assisted with writing the introduction. K.M.C. assisted with data coding, analysis, writing, and editing of the final manuscript. M.C. assisted with writing part of the discussion.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

For this type of study formal consent is not required. This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was not obtained, because there were no individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Denise K. Whitford
    • 1
    Email author
  • Antonis Katsiyannis
    • 2
  • Jennifer Counts
    • 2
  • Kelly M. Carrero
    • 3
  • Michael Couvillon
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Educational StudiesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Clemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  3. 3.Texas A&M—CommerceCommerceUSA
  4. 4.Drake UniversityDes MoinesUSA

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