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Chapter 2. School-Related Characteristics

Indicator 14. Suspensions and Expulsions of High School Students

High school students may be suspended (temporarily removed from regular school activities either in or out of school) or expelled (permanently removed from school with no services) due to behavior problems. In 2007, about one-fourth of public school students in grades 9 through 12 had ever been suspended and 3 percent had ever been expelled.

Differences in rates of suspension were found by sex and race/ethnicity. For instance, in 2007, male high school students had been suspended at a rate that was about twice as high as that of their female peers (32 vs. 17 percent). In addition, about half (49 percent) of Black high school students had ever been suspended, a greater percentage than that of Hispanic (26 percent), White (18 percent), and Asian/Pacific Islander (13 percent) students and students of two or more races (29 percent). Differences in suspension rates between males and females were also found by race/ethnicity. Among Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics, a greater percentage of males than females in 2007 had ever been suspended.

The overall suspension rate in 2007 was not measurably different from that in 1999, but differences were found for Black males. A greater percentage of Black males had been suspended in 2007 than in 1999 (57 vs. 41 percent).

Some similar patterns were found for expulsion rates by sex and race/ethnicity. In 2007, male high school students had been expelled at a rate that was twice as high as that of their female peers (4 vs. 2 percent). Also, a greater percentage of Black students (10 percent) had been expelled than had White students (1 percent). When looking at expulsion rates over time, no measurable differences were found between 1999 and 2007; however, the rate of expulsion for White males was lower in 2007 than in 2003 (2 vs. 5 percent).

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