Suspension and Expulsion: Early Educators’ Perspectives

Courtney O’Grady, Michaelene M. Ostrosky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this exploratory interview study was to examine the perceptions and experiences of 12 teachers related to the suspension and expulsion of preschoolers in private early childhood programs. Thematic and constant comparative methods were used for data analysis. Results indicated that teachers had a range of experiences with suspension, from children being sent out in the hallway temporarily to out-of-school suspensions lasting up to a week. Most participants also had expelled a student because of challenging behavior. Themes that emerged regarding factors that influenced suspension and expulsion decisions were inadequate supports, safety concerns, perceptions of a child’s needs, and discipline policies and procedures. Teachers also discussed supports they had in place, supports that were lacking, and the effect that suspensions and expulsions had on their students and themselves. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-125
Number of pages11
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Childcare
  • Expulsion
  • Preschoolers
  • Private programs
  • Suspension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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