Suspensions and expulsions could set our most vulnerable kids on a path to school drop-out, drug use and crime
Sep 24, 2021
An article has been published on “The Conversation” website titled “Suspensions and expulsions could set our most vulnerable kids on a path to school drop-out, drug use and crime.” The article describes a range of research from around Australia looking at the patterns of suspension and exclusion, and following up on the outcomes of these practices. The authors show that most suspensions went to the most vulnerable students, with students with a disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and those living in out-of-home care being massively over-represented in the suspension and exclusions statistics. Similarly, the authors show that there has been a faster growth in suspension rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students when compared with non-Indigenous students. This racial bias has been seen elsewhere in the world, particularly the United States, where this pattern is referred to as the “school-to-prison pipeline” with a clear link between exclusionary practices and increased risk of substance use and criminal behaviour.