Researchers say preschoolers are most expelled

Posted: Updated:

A Yale researcher says the most expelled group of kids are preschoolers. 

Three and four-year-olds are three times more likely than kids in grades K-12 to be kicked out of school. 

Experts say that is not good for their development. 

Three-year-old Michael Brumlow’s seemingly boundless energy seemed to be too much for his preschool. In May he was kicked out.

"It was kind of like, 'We can't help you anymore and his last day is Friday,'" said Michael’s mother Cheyenne Brumlow.  

Brumlow says she was given little reason why.

“You feel lost, like, 'What's going on? What's happening?'” she wondered.

This is happening around the country at an alarming rate.

"Nationwide every year we expel 65,000 preschoolers. That’s more than preschoolers than you have seats at the University of Phoenix Stadium,” said Dr. Walter Gilliam with Yale University.

Dr. Gilliam has been studying the problem, for several years, analyzing data from the U.S. Department of Education, the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health and the National Survey of Children’s Health.

He also found minority children and boys are more at risk for expulsion from preschool, increasing their chances of never graduating high school.

"It sets a lot of our young children on a path that's not a really good path to success," said Gilliam.

Southwest Human Development in Phoenix says if it can get children in front of a specialist at the first sign of trouble, it thinks expulsion is avoidable.

“The best bet that we have for preventing expulsion that we know about nationally is mental health consultation," said Dr. Alison Steier, with Southwest Human Development.

With the agency’s help, Brumlow found Michael had sensory processing issues. Loud sounds would distract and often upset him.

"Behavior in children is a way of saying, 'I need something,'” said Dr. Steier.  

With help, Michael is now excelling at his new preschool.

Southwest Human Development has a Birth to Five Helpline parents and teachers can call with concerns about their preschool student. That number is 877-705-KIDS

There are laws in Arizona regarding expulsion from public schools. Southwest Human Development says it is working with the state to tailor them to help better protect preschoolers.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

Hide bio