A new report quoted by The Nation focuses on incidents in which black girls are subject to harsh, unwarranted school discipline and end up in the juvenile justice system. “Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected,” from the African American Policy Forum and Columbia Law School, says black girls are disciplined six times more often than white girls and thus often are excluded from opportunities to learn. Black boys are suspended more than three times as often as white boys.
The report says that 12 percent of all black girls in school were suspended during the school year studied, 2011-12, compared with two percent of white girls. In New York City's public schools, black students made up 28 percent of the student body and white students were 14 percent. Black girls were 90 percent of all girls expelled, and no white girls were expelled during the school year. In Boston's public schools, black students made up 35 percent of the student body and white students were 14 percent. Black girls were 63 percent of all girls expelled, and no white girls were expelled that school year. The report recommends solutions, such as training teachers how to work with students traumatized by violence and sexual assault and recognizing that girls have needs that can differ from boys' needs.