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Race Ethnicity and Education




Educators’ differential selection of Black and Latine students for office discipline referrals is a significant driver of inequity in exclusionary outcomes. Using demographic data and discipline records for all students in one large urban school district, we use descriptive statistics and multilevel regression models to consider whether referral reasons are racialized and if these patterns intersect with gender. Our analyses indicate that educators are consistently more likely to refer Black students than White students to the office for several subjective reasons, including habitual disruption, that are purportedly race-neutral but privilege Whiteness. They are less likely to make referrals for Black students in the objective category of drug and alcohol use or possession. Latine students are more likely than White youth to be referred for habitual disruption and substance use or possession. We draw on Critical Race Theory to interpret these findings and their implications.


Intersectionality, office discipline referrals, racial bias, school discipline


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Race Ethnicity and Education on 29 March 2023, available online:


Social Work