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Black Girls and School Discipline: Whats Going On

 
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tatee View Drop Down
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    Posted: Apr 15 2014 at 5:23pm

Black Girls and School Discipline:
What's Going On?

EBONY.com's newest contributor Monique W. Morris takes a look at the classroom crisis

By Monique W. Morris Defender of Black Women and Girls


african american girl sad school

According to recent data published by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, 12% of Black girls have experienced an out-of-school suspension in the U.S., compared with 7% of Native American girls, 4% of Latinas, and 2% of White girls. Among girls with a disability, the rate of out-of-school suspension is 19%. In some states--such as Wisconsin (21%), Missouri (16%), and Michigan (16%)--the rate of suspension among Black girls is significantly higher than the national rate.  

These statistics also reveal that the marginalization of Black children from school includes more than just suspensions. Black children nationwide are 27% of students referred to law enforcement and 31% of students who have experienced a school-related arrest. However, a closer look will reveal an even greater racial disparity among girls. According to OCR data, Black girls are 31% of girls referred to law enforcement and about 43% of girls who have experienced a school-related arrest.

I have been quoted as saying, "Black girls who have been suspended got kicked out for being loud, even if they weren't being disrespectful…It's cultural for Black girls to speak up, and they are going to fight back if something is wrong." And I stand by that. However, there is much more to the story.

There are many explanations for the elevated use of suspension and other exclusionary discipline with Black girls. Like their male counterparts, Black girls are subjected to punitive policies that emphasize discipline over school-based approaches that can repair relationships and harm between students and, when necessary, between students and adults. Black girls are pushed out of school for fighting each other, cursing at adults, social bullying, poor student performance, truancy, and violating dress codes, among other citations. One of the most controversial reasons for which Black girls are removed from school has been "student defiance," a subjective reference to behaviors that are perceived as being in direct opposition to the institution's social norms and expectations.

My own forthcoming research on Black girls and school push-out found that when Black girls connect with the teacher, they tend to feel more comfortable asking questions in the classroom. On the opposite end of the spectrum, when student-teacher relationships are poor, Black girls may exhibit any number of behaviors that openly signal dissatisfaction, such as yelling at or using profanity with the teacher. In a recent research interview, a Dean of discipline for a high school in Oakland, CA, discussed a scenario which may help to illustrate this point.

“I get referrals for the simplest reasons,” he said. “For girls yelling, ‘I don’t understand!’ For teachers saying, ‘Did you come to school to learn?’ And then student saying, ‘You come to school to teach?’…You know, our babies can be kind of snappy, so the way they say it, you know, it might have an expletive in there somewhere… The sisters bring a lot attention to themselves…They’re not docile.”

Docility does not make for an engaged, critical-thinking student. Nor does unruly, disruptive behavior. However, the expressive nature of Black girls may inform—and sometimes escalate—student-teacher conflict. Teachers who feel successful with their students attribute their success to connecting with students beyond the required coursework. As one teacher once told me, given the plethora of issues that affect a student’s performance, “the teacher has to teach more than just the curriculum.”

As parents, educators, and concerned community members, we must examine the ways in which our educational institutions are underserving our children—and pushing our girls out of school alongside the boys. The conversation about school discipline is not about excusing abhorrent behavior. It’s about implementing alternative reactions to negative student behavior and developing relationships that can teach our young people about who they are, and how they should behave in a loving learning environment. For our girls, we must also reflect upon the extent to which our reactions to their behaviors are more about whether they are being "good girls.” We also have to consider how expressions of Black femininity (e.g., how girls dress or wear their hair) may be pathologized by school rules. In our haste to teach children social rules, we sometimes fail to examine whether these rules are rooted in patriarchy and/or racial oppression, and ultimately serve to undermine the full expression and learning of young, Black women and girls.

We can, and must, do better.


Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/news-views/black-girls-and-school-discipline-whats-going-on-034#ixzz2yzpD3Xbj

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Ladybird0724 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (11) Thanks(11)   Quote Ladybird0724 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2014 at 5:28pm
IMO, having a majority white staff and/or afmin makes a big difference for our children. Esp. girls...there is a lot I want to day but I'm on my phone lol
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ThoughtCouture Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2014 at 5:39pm
sigh...i have so much to say...maybe later...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Im_oh_so_hott Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2014 at 5:46pm
I was given in school suspension for correcting a teacher. She said i disrupted her class.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (8) Thanks(8)   Quote Journey94 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2014 at 6:05pm
Originally posted by SamoneLenior SamoneLenior wrote:


I was given in school suspension for getting in a fight with this boy in 8th grade

he called me a bitch and hit me so I waited, hit him in his back, he pushed me, then I swung and hit him in his jaw

we were finally separated

a white admin saw the boy hit me first and did nothing, had I been a white girl or us both been white the admin would have done something sooner

they don't give a damn about us....that's a big problem




Don't get me started. I remember I got into a fight with this evil ass white girl. She bullied me throughout the whole damn year and the teachers saw and were aware of it because we actually have a principal/parent conference about it. But naturally I got tired of the bitch, one day she kept purposely putting her hand on my book blocking me from following along & reading. I just kept pushing her hand down, the last time I pushed her hand she hit it on the table and this bitch dug her long ass nails into my arm & twisted it making me bleed. I punched her melanin deficient ass in the face. And unsurprisingly guess what happened? I'm all of a sudden the violent one, I gave her a "brutal" blow to the face they claim gtfoh.

Tbqfh a lot of these black girls/kids continue to act out because they are doing what's expected of them. Cant really blame them but i did the opposite, I stopped giving af about teachers etc, I just stayed quiet & didn't bother anybody. I realized they didn't care about me nor my education, they were there for a check & for their white students. It's quite sad that you can't even speak up for yourself unless you want to be painted as the aggressor and deal with fake ass white tears.

One thing I've noticed in real life & on TV for years is that, nobody cares when a black woman is weak, emotional & crying etc, but when a white woman sheds a tear the world stops spinning. They don't care about us. I was just discussing this with somebody when watching that are you the one show on MTV, everybody was so freaking nonchalant all the times the black girls specifically Simone was crying but as soon as the white bitch Shanley shed a tear everybody is bawling and comforting her. It's messed up.

They're quick af to diffuse something between two white kids, but when it's involving blacks they just sit back & watch with everybody else THEN call security. Standing there acting like they trying to break it up but do nothing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (6) Thanks(6)   Quote carolina cutie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2014 at 10:30pm
The benefit of the doubt is always given to yt kids, especially yt girls. They are innocent and victims by default.Ermm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (8) Thanks(8)   Quote Im_oh_so_hott Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2014 at 10:36pm
Originally posted by carolina cutie carolina cutie wrote:

The benefit of the doubt is always given to yt kids, especially yt girls. They are innocent and victims by default.Ermm



I remember some of my white friends parents thought i'd be the bad influence, while it was their daughters introducing me to pills and vodka in the girls bathroom.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote eanaj5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2014 at 10:47pm
i cant relate tbh.
all of my teachers adored me.
sh*t, i yoked this girl up in 8th grade while teacher was out of the room and she heard the ruckus down the hall. she came back in and saw what happened, she just told me to go take a walk. She didnt even report it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2014 at 10:49pm
same here eanaj

If I wasn't invisible/quite, i was teacher's pet
Especially b/c a lot of my teachers taught my older sis and she's everyone's fav

My brothers on the other hand... Geek
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote carolina cutie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2014 at 10:55pm
Originally posted by Im_oh_so_hott Im_oh_so_hott wrote:

Originally posted by carolina cutie carolina cutie wrote:

The benefit of the doubt is always given to yt kids, especially yt girls. They are innocent and victims by default.Ermm



I remember some of my white friends parents thought i'd be the bad influence, while it was their daughters introducing me to pills and vodka in the girls bathroom.
Guuurl.

Their homes were where all the parties, drinking, drugs and fuggin took place at in middle school and high school.LOL


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