Schools can respond to some inappropriate student behaviors by suspending or expelling students from classroom instruction or through other types of disciplinary actions, such as a referral to the principal's office or detention. School staff were asked whether youth had been suspended, expelled, or involved in any other type of disciplinary action during the 2001-02 school year.5 Approximately one-third of those with disabilities (34 percent) were involved in some type of disciplinary action in a school year (figure 2).
Secondary-school-age youth with disabilities are more likely to experience an in-school than out-of-school suspension, with 17 percent undergoing an in-school and 11 percent an out-of-school suspension.6 Some have been suspended from school multiple times in a school year. For example, 9 percent have received an in-school suspension more than once in a year, and 6 percent have had more than one out-of-school suspension. Many fewer students have been expelled than suspended from school; 1 percent of students with disabilities were expelled in a school year.
Schools employ other types of disciplinary actions in addition to suspensions and expulsions, such as sending a student to the principal's office. Approximately one-third of students with disabilities have experienced other types of disciplinary actions, with 17 percent being disciplined once or twice, 8 percent three to five times, and 9 percent more than five times in the school year.
Secondary-school-age students with disabilities are more likely than those in the general population to be suspended or expelled from school. Specifically, one-third of students with disabilities (33 percent) are reported by parents to have been suspended or expelled during their school careers, compared with 21 percent of their same-age peers in the general population (National Center for Education Statistics [NCES] 1999).7