U.S. schools suspend 2.5 million children each school year. Although states mandate suspensions for serious offenses, most students are suspended for minor transgressions, such as “willful defiance” of authority. Moreover, districts suspend students of color for minor issues at higher rates than White children. In response, California banned suspension for “willful defiance” in elementary schools statewide in 2015 and larger districts eliminated the practice for all grades throughout the 2010s. In this article, we use California Department of Education (CDE) data from 2011 to 2018 to determine: (1) whether banning suspension for willful defiance changes school district suspension rates; (2) whether these bans are associated with changes in special education enrollment; and (3) how these relationships differ by the race/ethnicity of the student.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science