Disparities in School Discipline Practices for Students with Emotional and Learning Disabilities and Autism
Carrie E. Miller, Steven A. Meyers

Numerous researchers have explored discipline practices in schools in the United States and have found racial disparities as well as the disproportionate use of exclusionary practices for students with disabilities. However, less attention has been paid to students with a subgroup of disabilities, including emotional disturbances, learning disabilities, and autism. We compared rates of suspension, expulsion, referral to law enforcement, and drop out among students with and without those particular disabilities within the Chicago Public Schools system to see if there were disparities. We hypothesized that students with these specified disabilities would experience higher rates of exclusionary discipline practices. We conducted a series of chisquare analyses using system-wide data and determined that students with these disabilities were suspended, expelled, referred to law enforcement, and dropped out at higher rates than those without disabilities. The magnitude of these disparities varied as a function of the specific disciplinary practice and the disability type. We provide suggestions for future research in addition to alternatives to exclusionary discipline.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jehd.v4n1a23