Disproportionality of Suspensions: An Analysis of Special Education Services in Juvenile Court School

This research analyzes the assignment of school suspensions to two subgroups of students attending juvenile court school: general education and special education. This study draws on enrollment and discipline data to determine if school suspensions were assigned in greater proportion to students’ with academic and social and emotional challenges. It was determined approximately 20% of the student population was qualified for special education services. Additionally, it was determined that students receiving special education services were subject to a disproportionately greater amount of disciplinary exclusion than their general education peers. Based on their representation in the total school population, students in the special education subgroup were suspended an amount more than two times that of general education students. Finally, by examining the locations where suspensions occurred, it was clear that classrooms taught by long term substitutes had a greater number of suspensions than those taught by permanent teaching staff. It was postulated that a collection and examination of suspensions would reveal information useful to school staff. This analysis could assist in the development of more effective services for all students paying particular mind to students receiving special education services.