New study finds Black girls more harshly disciplined in school


A new study found that Black girls in the Baltimore City Schools are suspended and kicked out at higher rates and for a longer time than their peers.   

Released by the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, the new study examined the treatment of Black girls and found a disturbing trend for the 2016-2017 school year: Black girls made up approximately 95% of all suspensions of girls and 92% of all expulsions of girls, despite constituting 80.6% of girls enrolled.

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“When we think about schools and the role that they play in the idea that, when girls make observations about what they see as problematic and are told they are defiant, rather than encouraged to be activists, that is really discouraging,” Cara McClellan, author of the “Our Girls, Our Future” study, told the Baltimore Sun.

The serious disparities are something that the city schools chief Sonja Santelises said they are working to address.

“The report is waving a flag and saying to us: Don’t forget that the particular experiences of black girls are worthy of attention and support. They have particular needs.”

“When we go deeply into what the practice in schools is, we are not fully there yet,” she said.

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According to the report, while Black boys constitute the majority of suspensions and expulsions overall, Black girls make up 33% of total suspensions and 27.5% of total expulsions; white girls make up 0.09% of total suspensions and 0.1% of total expulsions. The disparity is greatest for long-term suspensions.

Baltimore city schools is reported to be one of the most racially segregated school districts in Maryland, where some 80 percent of its students are black.

Read more about the study here.