This study examined the probability of (a) being placed in a disciplinary alternative education setting for mandatory versus discretionary reasons and (b) returning within the same year among an ethnically diverse sample (African American, Caucasian, Hispanic) of middle and high school students (N=270). Participants were compared based on ethnicity, gender, grade level, and special education status. Minority students were significantly more likely than Caucasian students to be placed in disciplinary alternative education for discretionary reasons and were more likely to return within the same school year. A similar result was revealed for high school students when compared to middle school students. Differences were found between boys and girls, but none were found between students who qualified for special education services and those who did not. The cultural and developmental implications of these findings are discussed, as well as suggestions for future practice and research.


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Print ISSN
pp. 193-208
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Archived 2020
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