The crisis continues for black girls in our school system. We have spoken repeatedly about girls of color needing our support in school and out of school in our communities. The most recent report from National Women’s Law Center tells us why.
This [Let Her Learn Survey] also showed that being called a racial slur is a common experience shared by all girls of color, with one third to one half of them saying they have had this experience (Asian and Pacific Islander girls reported the highest rate), compared to just more than one eighth of white girls. And national data shows that Black girls are 5.5 times more likely and Native American girls are 3 times more likely to be suspended from school than white girls. In addition to these barriers, girls of color are more likely to attend under-resourced schools that are not culturally competent or personalized to their needs or interests, which negatively affects their educational opportunities and future earnings.
Doesn’t this upset you? Doesn’t it make you want to change reality? To twist our school system, our culture, our society, our communities to be inclusive and safe for all of our children. It makes me want to work for change.
Now, some people might point out that maybe black girls are more likely to be suspended than white girls because of their behavior. Well, this survey shuts that down by pointing out black girls are overly-disciplined for similar behaviors or small offenses! That’s right. To ignore the role that race and stereotypes play into this is to ignore reality.
Black girls are stereotyped as:
When teachers and school officials are raised in a society that puts these stereotypes into their minds, it affects their interactions with black girls. Unless they are actively combating their biases, then these negative stereotypes will have real life affects on black girls in the classroom. By removing them from school as punishment, they are not being provided quality education.
Although expulsions are less common, Black girls are 6.1 times more likely to be expelled from school than white girls. To make matters worse, they are 2.5 times more likely to be expelled without educational services.
Take this information and use it to fuel your drive. Support girls of color, support your schools, communities, and after school programs. Help our girls receive a quality education because they are our future leaders!