[Blackstudies-l] Race/Related: How Black Girls Get Pushed Out of School

Maria Lima lima at geneseo.edu
Sat Apr 4 07:23:42 EDT 2020


The debate about the school-to-prison pipeline has largely been centered on
boys. That's Changing.
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[image: More Race/Related]
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April 4, 2020
[image: Author Headshot]
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By Erica L. Green
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Domestic Correspondent, Washington
[This week’s Race/Related newsletter was written by Erica L. Green, a
correspondent in Washington who covers the U.S. Department of Education,
educational equity and civil rights enforcement for The New York Times.]

The tiny voice sent shock waves across the nation. “What are those for?”
the 6-year-old girl asked the police officer who pulled out zip ties that
he would soon fasten around her wrists.

“No, don’t put handcuffs on!” she pleaded through tears, before she was led
out of her school for a “temper tantrum” staff members said she had thrown
earlier that day. “Please, give me a second chance,” the girl cried, as she
was escorted to the police car.

The scene was captured on a body camera, and the footage was obtained and
published by the Orlando Sentinel
<https://nl.nytimes.com/f/a/SSxiQVBmkQVKpUa7rrXdEQ~~/AAAAAQA~/RgRgau3MP4QkAWh0dHBzOi8vd3d3Lm9ybGFuZG9zZW50aW5lbC5jb20vbmV3cy9jcmltZS9vcy1uZS1vcmxhbmRvLXBvbGljZS1ib2R5LWNhbWVyYS02LXllYXItb2xkLWFycmVzdC0yMDIwMDIyNC1ybGcydWt0dGR2aGVocG9qMmtpN2lycWU3NC1zdG9yeS5odG1sP2NhbXBhaWduX2lkPTM3JmVtYz1lZGl0X3JyXzIwMjAwNDA0Jmluc3RhbmNlX2lkPTE3MzUzJm5sPXJhY2UlMkZyZWxhdGVkJnJlZ2lfaWQ9NDI3NDA4OTcmc2VnbWVudF9pZD0yMzg2MCZ0ZT0xJnVzZXJfaWQ9MzkzOGYxN2Q4MTgyYTIyZmRlMTQ2N2ZmOWQwYmI1YzVXA255dEIKACTMaIhelkzxc1IQbGltYUBnZW5lc2VvLmVkdVgEAAAAAA~~>
earlier this year. It offered a glimpse into what many young black girls in
America have long experienced in school.
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For years, a small band of female organizers and researchers have been
gathering evidence
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that young black girls are among the most harshly disciplined and
overcriminalized student groups in the country. But they say that in the
national dialogue around school discipline, young black girls have remained
largely unseen and unheard.

Monique W. Morris, founder of the National Black Women’s Justice Institute
<https://nl.nytimes.com/f/a/0aVkIuyr_lQ3QQfr502eoA~~/AAAAAQA~/RgRgau3MP0SsaHR0cDovL3d3dy5uYndqaS5vcmc_Y2FtcGFpZ25faWQ9MzcmZW1jPWVkaXRfcnJfMjAyMDA0MDQmaW5zdGFuY2VfaWQ9MTczNTMmbmw9cmFjZSUyRnJlbGF0ZWQmcmVnaV9pZD00Mjc0MDg5NyZzZWdtZW50X2lkPTIzODYwJnRlPTEmdXNlcl9pZD0zOTM4ZjE3ZDgxODJhMjJmZGUxNDY3ZmY5ZDBiYjVjNVcDbnl0QgoAJMxoiF6WTPFzUhBsaW1hQGdlbmVzZW8uZWR1WAQAAAAA>
and the executive director of Grantmakers for Girls of Color, set out to
change that.

A new documentary, “Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools,”
<https://nl.nytimes.com/f/a/ES_eqeBRe9ebOAvVrvtzXA~~/AAAAAQA~/RgRgau3MP0SwaHR0cHM6Ly9wdXNob3V0ZmlsbS5jb20vP2NhbXBhaWduX2lkPTM3JmVtYz1lZGl0X3JyXzIwMjAwNDA0Jmluc3RhbmNlX2lkPTE3MzUzJm5sPXJhY2UlMkZyZWxhdGVkJnJlZ2lfaWQ9NDI3NDA4OTcmc2VnbWVudF9pZD0yMzg2MCZ0ZT0xJnVzZXJfaWQ9MzkzOGYxN2Q4MTgyYTIyZmRlMTQ2N2ZmOWQwYmI1YzVXA255dEIKACTMaIhelkzxc1IQbGltYUBnZW5lc2VvLmVkdVgEAAAAAA~~>
takes viewers
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into the journeys of five black female students who have confronted, and
overcome, the school “pushout” phenomenon, which is most often associated
with black boys. Throughout the film, you hear from young black women who
explain how their treatment in school pushed them to the edge. One young
girl describes contemplating jumping onto a freeway after being mistreated
by her teacher in the second grade.

The film is based on Ms. Morris’s book of the same title, published in
2015. It has provided a road map for educators and policymakers who want to
address the unique ways in which black girls are placed in the
school-to-prison pipeline.
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In a conversation with Race/Related, Ms. Morris answered questions about
the film and what she hopes it accomplishes. The interview has been edited
for length and clarity.

It’s been five years since you published your book. Can you tell us what
has changed for black girls?

At the end of the book, I wrote that I wanted to see “within the next five
years a robust and coordinated strategy to change the racial justice
narrative in a way that authentically and earnestly includes girls and
women.” When the book was first published, girls of color — particularly
black girls — were largely absent from discourses on equity in public
education. Even when the data were available, many scholars chose only to
share the stats for black boys, leaving out that more often than not, black
girls were right behind them. Since then, we have been able to build a
community that stands with and for black girls, and it is expanding.

What did you hope the impact would be of turning this book into a film?

The film is actually based upon my last two books, “Pushout” and “Sing a
Rhythm, Dance a Blues: Education for the Liberation of Black and Brown
Girls.” It is my hope that by bringing the book material to film, we are
able to introduce the issue to an even broader audience. I am hoping that
people will understand that the policies, practices, conditions, and
prevailing consciousness that lead to the criminalization of black girls
are not insurmountable.
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You offer a variety of examples of what it looks like for black girls from
different backgrounds to get pushed out of school. How did you choose whose
experience to feature? Did you identify with one more than others?

The film features black girls who have experienced some of the most common
pathways to confinement and being pushed out — those who have had their
behavior described as sassy, combative and defiant when they are behaving
in developmentally appropriate ways, and often in response to trauma. We
also chose to center the stories of girls who are from communities in the
United States that are often left out of national conversations like these,
as well as the educators and advocates working with them to cultivate new
opportunities.

I identify with each girl in different ways. I was a survivor of sexual
assault. I was a fighter. I was bullied. I experienced abandonment and loss
as a child. And yet, I had educators and learning spaces that did not
criminalize my sometimes misguided reactions to these things.

Who was your audience for this film? What has been the reception?

Our goal is to reach educators, parents, policymakers, the extended
community of adults that I call the “village of care,” as well as
school-aged girls. And we’re getting there!

These conversations sparked by the film have led to task forces, working
groups, and in some instances, new intervention efforts. We began at the
Congressional Black Caucus, where Representative Ayanna Pressley hosted a
standing room-only viewing for hundreds of people interested in making sure
that black girls are included in efforts to promote education justice.

She then introduced legislation on the topic
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to align federal policy with best practices on this issue for girls of
color and other marginalized populations. That’s what this is about —
initiating change. We don’t want people to watch the film, feel touched for
a few hours and then proceed with business as usual. We want action.

If people took one actionable item away from this film — in how they speak
to, interact with or perceive black girls — what would you want it to be?

I invite everyone to understand and approach black girls as if they are
sacred. We approach the sacred with love, not fear. We engage the sacred
with care and recognize the need to bring it in closer when there is chaos
or disruption. That which is sacred is not disposable. I believe that if we
shift how and what we think about black girls, we can create new learning
spaces that promote learning for every child.

EDITOR’S PICKS

We publish many articles that touch on race. Here are a few you shouldn’t
miss.
[image: Article Image]

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
<https://nl.nytimes.com/f/newsletter/-jTZNIWjhDQmkT3TLdvDDw~~/AAAAAQA~/RgRgau3MP0TnaHR0cHM6Ly93d3cubnl0aW1lcy5jb20vMjAyMC8wMy8yOS91cy9wb2xpdGljcy9jb3JvbmF2aXJ1cy1hc2lhbi1hbWVyaWNhbnMuaHRtbD9jYW1wYWlnbl9pZD0zNyZlbWM9ZWRpdF9ycl8yMDIwMDQwNCZpbnN0YW5jZV9pZD0xNzM1MyZubD1yYWNlJTJGcmVsYXRlZCZyZWdpX2lkPTQyNzQwODk3JnNlZ21lbnRfaWQ9MjM4NjAmdGU9MSZ1c2VyX2lkPTM5MzhmMTdkODE4MmEyMmZkZTE0NjdmZjlkMGJiNWM1VwNueXRCCgAkzGiIXpZM8XNSEGxpbWFAZ2VuZXNlby5lZHVYBAAAAAA~>
  How Asian-American Leaders Are Grappling With Xenophobia Amid Coronavirus

As Asian-Americans face racist attacks and President Trump has tied the
virus to China, community and political leaders have tried to comfort
constituents. But even they admit to feeling unnerved.

By Matt Stevens
<https://nl.nytimes.com/f/newsletter/-jTZNIWjhDQmkT3TLdvDDw~~/AAAAAQA~/RgRgau3MP0TnaHR0cHM6Ly93d3cubnl0aW1lcy5jb20vMjAyMC8wMy8yOS91cy9wb2xpdGljcy9jb3JvbmF2aXJ1cy1hc2lhbi1hbWVyaWNhbnMuaHRtbD9jYW1wYWlnbl9pZD0zNyZlbWM9ZWRpdF9ycl8yMDIwMDQwNCZpbnN0YW5jZV9pZD0xNzM1MyZubD1yYWNlJTJGcmVsYXRlZCZyZWdpX2lkPTQyNzQwODk3JnNlZ21lbnRfaWQ9MjM4NjAmdGU9MSZ1c2VyX2lkPTM5MzhmMTdkODE4MmEyMmZkZTE0NjdmZjlkMGJiNWM1VwNueXRCCgAkzGiIXpZM8XNSEGxpbWFAZ2VuZXNlby5lZHVYBAAAAAA~>
[image: Article Image]

Ricky Rhodes for The New York Times
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  This Puerto Rican Sculptor Meets Disaster With Spirit

Watching the coronavirus crisis take hold, Daniel Lind-Ramos, a powerful
storyteller, filled notebooks with carnival, medical and spiritual imagery.

By Siddhartha Mitter
<https://nl.nytimes.com/f/newsletter/2XpuSXYqyeAO0YgzETex1w~~/AAAAAQA~/RgRgau3MP0TuaHR0cHM6Ly93d3cubnl0aW1lcy5jb20vMjAyMC8wNC8wMS9hcnRzL2Rlc2lnbi9kYW5pZWwtbGluZC1yYW1vcy1hcnQtdmlydHVhbC10b3VyLmh0bWw_Y2FtcGFpZ25faWQ9MzcmZW1jPWVkaXRfcnJfMjAyMDA0MDQmaW5zdGFuY2VfaWQ9MTczNTMmbmw9cmFjZSUyRnJlbGF0ZWQmcmVnaV9pZD00Mjc0MDg5NyZzZWdtZW50X2lkPTIzODYwJnRlPTEmdXNlcl9pZD0zOTM4ZjE3ZDgxODJhMjJmZGUxNDY3ZmY5ZDBiYjVjNVcDbnl0QgoAJMxoiF6WTPFzUhBsaW1hQGdlbmVzZW8uZWR1WAQAAAAA>
[image: Article Image]

Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters
<https://nl.nytimes.com/f/newsletter/ngCzishP63wTMtmCfsHuVw~~/AAAAAQA~/RgRgau3MP0TbaHR0cHM6Ly93d3cubnl0aW1lcy5jb20vMjAyMC8wMy8zMS9idXNpbmVzcy9qcG1vcmdhbi1kaXZlcnNpdHkuaHRtbD9jYW1wYWlnbl9pZD0zNyZlbWM9ZWRpdF9ycl8yMDIwMDQwNCZpbnN0YW5jZV9pZD0xNzM1MyZubD1yYWNlJTJGcmVsYXRlZCZyZWdpX2lkPTQyNzQwODk3JnNlZ21lbnRfaWQ9MjM4NjAmdGU9MSZ1c2VyX2lkPTM5MzhmMTdkODE4MmEyMmZkZTE0NjdmZjlkMGJiNWM1VwNueXRCCgAkzGiIXpZM8XNSEGxpbWFAZ2VuZXNlby5lZHVYBAAAAAA~>
  JPMorgan Announces New Diversity Push

The bank said it would make diversity training mandatory for all employees
after a New York Times report about racism at its Arizona branches.

By Emily Flitter
<https://nl.nytimes.com/f/newsletter/ngCzishP63wTMtmCfsHuVw~~/AAAAAQA~/RgRgau3MP0TbaHR0cHM6Ly93d3cubnl0aW1lcy5jb20vMjAyMC8wMy8zMS9idXNpbmVzcy9qcG1vcmdhbi1kaXZlcnNpdHkuaHRtbD9jYW1wYWlnbl9pZD0zNyZlbWM9ZWRpdF9ycl8yMDIwMDQwNCZpbnN0YW5jZV9pZD0xNzM1MyZubD1yYWNlJTJGcmVsYXRlZCZyZWdpX2lkPTQyNzQwODk3JnNlZ21lbnRfaWQ9MjM4NjAmdGU9MSZ1c2VyX2lkPTM5MzhmMTdkODE4MmEyMmZkZTE0NjdmZjlkMGJiNWM1VwNueXRCCgAkzGiIXpZM8XNSEGxpbWFAZ2VuZXNlby5lZHVYBAAAAAA~>
[image: Article Image]

Grant Hindsley for The New York Times
<https://nl.nytimes.com/f/newsletter/NviaYKbZK55Oa-qdrVdDRQ~~/AAAAAQA~/RgRgau3MP0T2aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cubnl0aW1lcy5jb20vMjAyMC8wMy8yMy90ZWNobm9sb2d5L3NwZWVjaC1yZWNvZ25pdGlvbi1iaWFzLWFwcGxlLWFtYXpvbi1nb29nbGUuaHRtbD9jYW1wYWlnbl9pZD0zNyZlbWM9ZWRpdF9ycl8yMDIwMDQwNCZpbnN0YW5jZV9pZD0xNzM1MyZubD1yYWNlJTJGcmVsYXRlZCZyZWdpX2lkPTQyNzQwODk3JnNlZ21lbnRfaWQ9MjM4NjAmdGU9MSZ1c2VyX2lkPTM5MzhmMTdkODE4MmEyMmZkZTE0NjdmZjlkMGJiNWM1VwNueXRCCgAkzGiIXpZM8XNSEGxpbWFAZ2VuZXNlby5lZHVYBAAAAAA~>
  There Is a Racial Divide in Speech-Recognition Systems, Researchers Say

Technology from Amazon, Apple, Google, IBM and Microsoft misidentified 35
percent of words from people who were black. White people fared much better.

By Cade Metz
<https://nl.nytimes.com/f/newsletter/NviaYKbZK55Oa-qdrVdDRQ~~/AAAAAQA~/RgRgau3MP0T2aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cubnl0aW1lcy5jb20vMjAyMC8wMy8yMy90ZWNobm9sb2d5L3NwZWVjaC1yZWNvZ25pdGlvbi1iaWFzLWFwcGxlLWFtYXpvbi1nb29nbGUuaHRtbD9jYW1wYWlnbl9pZD0zNyZlbWM9ZWRpdF9ycl8yMDIwMDQwNCZpbnN0YW5jZV9pZD0xNzM1MyZubD1yYWNlJTJGcmVsYXRlZCZyZWdpX2lkPTQyNzQwODk3JnNlZ21lbnRfaWQ9MjM4NjAmdGU9MSZ1c2VyX2lkPTM5MzhmMTdkODE4MmEyMmZkZTE0NjdmZjlkMGJiNWM1VwNueXRCCgAkzGiIXpZM8XNSEGxpbWFAZ2VuZXNlby5lZHVYBAAAAAA~>
[image: Article Image]

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Associated Press
<https://nl.nytimes.com/f/newsletter/Mmn8QDFHxtfcV6BmSBezgw~~/AAAAAQA~/RgRgau3MP0TfaHR0cHM6Ly93d3cubnl0aW1lcy5jb20vMjAyMC8wMy8zMC91cy9Nb29yZXMtZm9yZC1seW5jaGluZy1HZW9yZ2lhLmh0bWw_Y2FtcGFpZ25faWQ9MzcmZW1jPWVkaXRfcnJfMjAyMDA0MDQmaW5zdGFuY2VfaWQ9MTczNTMmbmw9cmFjZSUyRnJlbGF0ZWQmcmVnaV9pZD00Mjc0MDg5NyZzZWdtZW50X2lkPTIzODYwJnRlPTEmdXNlcl9pZD0zOTM4ZjE3ZDgxODJhMjJmZGUxNDY3ZmY5ZDBiYjVjNVcDbnl0QgoAJMxoiF6WTPFzUhBsaW1hQGdlbmVzZW8uZWR1WAQAAAAA>
  Records in 1946 Lynching Case Must Remain Sealed, Court Rules

No one was ever charged in the killing of two black couples by a group of
white men in rural Georgia, known as the Moore’s Ford lynchings.

By Neil Vigdor
<https://nl.nytimes.com/f/newsletter/Mmn8QDFHxtfcV6BmSBezgw~~/AAAAAQA~/RgRgau3MP0TfaHR0cHM6Ly93d3cubnl0aW1lcy5jb20vMjAyMC8wMy8zMC91cy9Nb29yZXMtZm9yZC1seW5jaGluZy1HZW9yZ2lhLmh0bWw_Y2FtcGFpZ25faWQ9MzcmZW1jPWVkaXRfcnJfMjAyMDA0MDQmaW5zdGFuY2VfaWQ9MTczNTMmbmw9cmFjZSUyRnJlbGF0ZWQmcmVnaV9pZD00Mjc0MDg5NyZzZWdtZW50X2lkPTIzODYwJnRlPTEmdXNlcl9pZD0zOTM4ZjE3ZDgxODJhMjJmZGUxNDY3ZmY5ZDBiYjVjNVcDbnl0QgoAJMxoiF6WTPFzUhBsaW1hQGdlbmVzZW8uZWR1WAQAAAAA>
[image: Article Image]


<https://nl.nytimes.com/f/newsletter/s50YqV9JUGPaAi3geH2aaA~~/AAAAAQA~/RgRgau3MP0TkaHR0cHM6Ly93d3cubnl0aW1lcy5jb20vMjAyMC8wMy8zMC9ib29rcy9kaXZlcnNlLWNhbm9uLXBlbmd1aW4tY2xhc3NpY3MuaHRtbD9jYW1wYWlnbl9pZD0zNyZlbWM9ZWRpdF9ycl8yMDIwMDQwNCZpbnN0YW5jZV9pZD0xNzM1MyZubD1yYWNlJTJGcmVsYXRlZCZyZWdpX2lkPTQyNzQwODk3JnNlZ21lbnRfaWQ9MjM4NjAmdGU9MSZ1c2VyX2lkPTM5MzhmMTdkODE4MmEyMmZkZTE0NjdmZjlkMGJiNWM1VwNueXRCCgAkzGiIXpZM8XNSEGxpbWFAZ2VuZXNlby5lZHVYBAAAAAA~>
  Penguin Classics and Others Work to Diversify Offerings From the Canon

Across the industry, publishers are releasing titles by authors who were
previously marginalized or entirely lost to history.

By Concepción de León
<https://nl.nytimes.com/f/newsletter/s50YqV9JUGPaAi3geH2aaA~~/AAAAAQA~/RgRgau3MP0TkaHR0cHM6Ly93d3cubnl0aW1lcy5jb20vMjAyMC8wMy8zMC9ib29rcy9kaXZlcnNlLWNhbm9uLXBlbmd1aW4tY2xhc3NpY3MuaHRtbD9jYW1wYWlnbl9pZD0zNyZlbWM9ZWRpdF9ycl8yMDIwMDQwNCZpbnN0YW5jZV9pZD0xNzM1MyZubD1yYWNlJTJGcmVsYXRlZCZyZWdpX2lkPTQyNzQwODk3JnNlZ21lbnRfaWQ9MjM4NjAmdGU9MSZ1c2VyX2lkPTM5MzhmMTdkODE4MmEyMmZkZTE0NjdmZjlkMGJiNWM1VwNueXRCCgAkzGiIXpZM8XNSEGxpbWFAZ2VuZXNlby5lZHVYBAAAAAA~>
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