Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools (Morris)

Morris is right to say that much time and attention has been paid to the struggles of black males as they get entrapped in the school –> prison pipeline. Consequently, little energy has been spent on girls and their own school –> confinement pipeline. Here Morris does some of her best work. The section on human trafficking is difficult but necessary. (The 11-year-old who voluntarily describes herself as a “ho”. . .) Morris wants us to understand that which is unique about black girls, particularly the way they ask questions, respond to real or perceived disrespect, and process things verbally. I cringed in recognition at some all-too-familiar descriptions of my memories of my reactions to some situations with Black girls. She wants us to understand that people who are harmed do harm in turn and that we all (and Appendix A is useful for this) need to be more prepared for how to address this. Her prescriptions for school security seem pretty ambitious, though I do wonder about the impact of grandmothers doing hall duty. I would add this to my list of required reading for those teaching in any kind of setting that includes Black girls.

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