University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Unpacking the Drivers of Racial Disparities in School Suspension/Expulsion in the U.S.

Friday, March 1, 2019
12:20pm – 1:50pm

Storrs Campus

School suspension and expulsion predict juvenile detention, educational attainment, earnings, incarceration, and recidivism. Suspension/expulsion impacts children’s development, contributing to cumulative disadvantages for students, families, and communities. Black students face more suspension/expulsion: 20% of Black boys are suspended, compared to 12% of Black girls, 9% of Latinx/Hispanic boys, 6% of White boys, and 3% of Black girls.

Yet, we do not fully understand the causes of these racial disparities in school exclusion. Neither higher incidence of infraction nor lesser responsiveness to restorative discipline practices (like tutoring or counseling) fully accounts for Black boys’ higher suspension/expulsion rates. Both structural discrimination in the form of between school sorting—the concentration of students of color in punitive schools—and interpersonal bias—the harsher sanctioning of Black students than White students for comparable, routine misbehavior—offer possible explanations. Using a combination of large scale survey data analysis with a national sample of U.S. children and an original video experiment, Owens helps disentangle these potential explanations, with important implications for the appropriate targeting of future policy efforts.


Alec J. Calvo (

I/O Psychology (primary), Psychology Department, UConn Master Calendar

Control Panel