Student expulsion and suspension rarely achieve their stated ends, beyond removing students who might otherwise have been disruptive to classes. These disciplinary policies result in significantly lost instructional time and often exacerbate racial inequity by targeting students of color. What students often “learn” from out of school suspension is that they are unwanted, incapable of learning or behaving, and that poor behavior is a way to escape their problems at school.
Students who are suspended or expelled are more likely to repeat grades, struggle with social interactions, and ultimately drop out. Moreover, schools with high suspension rates tend to score lower on measures of school culture. In other words, schools that routinely use suspension and expulsion as disciplinary measures fail to serve both the students who are disciplined and the students who remain.