- Black girls are more likely to be disciplined in schools than any other race of girls, and the severity of discipline even varies based on how dark- or light-skinned they are, reports the New York Times..
- To support their findings, the paper cited data from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, which found that from 2011 to 2012, black girls in the nation's public and secondary schools were suspended at a rate of 12%. That number is 10% higher than for their white counterparts.
- The article echoes a fall report by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the National Women's Law Center, which documented how African-American girls are more likely to be held back, suspended, or expelled than any other female demographic.
The report from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the National Women's Law Center found that gender and racial stereotypes, disparities in resource distribution, and zero-tolerance punishment systems are to blame for the discipline disparities.
These articles and reports highlight a very real and sad reality in this country: The school-to-prison pipeline is not a myth. This past October, when Atiya Haynes, a black high school senior in Michigan, was facing discipline after a pocketknife was discovered in her purse during a spontaneous bag check at a football game, she wrote a letter to her school board. “A lump sum of students who face expulsion from school are sent back to their reality of poverty, angst, unhappiness, and neighborhoods filled with negative influence,” Haynes wrote in the open letter. Yet, even with her letter, excellent academic track records, and no history of past issues, the board decided to rely on zero-tolerance discipline, punishing her for the remainder of the year.