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Negro Educ Rev. 2008;59(1-2):47-62.

Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Differences in School Discipline among U.S. High School Students: 1991-2005.

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University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work and Center on Race and Social Problems.


The present study uses large nationally representative samples of White, Black, Hispanic, Asian American, and American Indian students to examine current patterns and recent trends (1991 to 2005) in racial, ethnic, and gender differences in school discipline. We found that Black, Hispanic, and American Indian youth are slightly more likely than White and Asian American youth to be sent to the office and substantially (two to five times) more likely to be suspended or expelled. Although school discipline rates decreased over time for most ethnic groups, among Black students school discipline rates increased between 1991 and 2005. Logistic regression analyses that controlled for racial and ethnic differences in socio-demographic factors suggest racial and ethnic differences in school discipline do not result from racial and ethnic differences in socioeconomic status. Future research and practice efforts should seek to better understand and to eliminate racial, ethnic and gender disproportionality in school discipline.


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