Exploring the Lived Experience of Youth Who Have Been Suspended From Secondary School: A Narrative Inquiry


  • Adrienne Wilson Queen's University
  • Ian Matheson Queen's University


Despite evidence suggesting that out of school suspensions do more harm than good, they remain prevalent in education system. According to the Ontario Ministry of Education, 33,030 secondary school students were suspended during the 2017-2018 academic year. These students are at an increased risk for future suspensions and are less likely to complete secondary school. This study aimed to document, analyze and interpret the lived experience of youth who have been suspended one or more times from an Ontario secondary school and hear their voices. The data for this narrative inquiry was collected through three in depth semi-structured interviews with each one of the three participants. Participants shared about their aspirations, feelings of being ignored and excluded, their experiences with childhood adversity, and parental support and expectations. Using a temporal-needs threat model of ostracism, the findings can help to increase our understanding of youths’ experiences.






Research Study/Recherche