In the School Discipline of Girls, There Are Wide Racial Disparities

BlackGirlsMatterA new study by the African American Policy Forum and the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies at Columbia Law School finds that Black girls face significantly higher levels of harsh punishment in schools than their White peers. And the study finds that little is being done to address the school-to-prison pipeline for young Black girls, while considerable attention is paid to the school-to-prison pipeline as it impacts young Black males.

According to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Education cited in the report, nationally Black girls were suspended six times more than White girls, while Black boys were suspended three times as often as White boys. Rates of expulsion were even more strikingly disproportionate between Black and White students, especially among girls.

crenshawKimberle W. Crenshaw, a professor of law at Columbia University and a professor of law at the University of California, Los Angeles and the lead author of the report, states that “as public concern mounts for the needs of men and boys of color through initiatives like the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper, we must challenge the assumption that the lives of girls and women—who are often left out of the national conversation—are not also at risk.”

Professor Crenshaw is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School. She earned a master’s degree in law at the University of Wisconsin.

The full report, Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected, may be downloaded by clicking here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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