An Ecological Study of the Effect of Race on Suspensions and Expulsions in the Schools

Travis Satterlund, North Carolina State University

ABSTRACT
The perception of unsafe schools and the concern for student welfare amongst the public has led to the quick implementation of safe school policies across the nation. Yet, in the rush to address the violent acts of a few, no research has evaluated the impact of the movement on both punishment policies and the civil rights of students. This study examines the effect of ecological variables on the number of suspensions and expulsions at school. It is hypothesized that institutional racism and other ecological factors affect the number of suspensions and expulsions in schools. Data were obtaiuned from the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. The major aspect of this research is a macro level examination of the relationship between the percentage of African American students in a school and the number of suspensions and expulsions. The findings support the author's primary claim that the higher percentage of African American students in school is associatd with an increase of the number of suspensions and expulsions given in school.

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Updated 05/20/2006