Pushed out


For the Center for investigative reporting NPR. X. This is reveal I'm l. let's A few weeks ago this disturbing video started making the rounds online. I've had enough of this. Take your bag off. Taking in a white school police officer Mexico spend five minutes violently taken down and subduing an eleven year old black the six alleged crimes standing up on the bus taking extra milk from the cafeteria and brushing passer principal bull in a doorway which the officer characterized as an assault. Officers Zachary Christian was placed on administrative leave and eventually resigned. Signed the girl's family has initiated legal action a a lot of times when we hear about the school to prison pipeline. It has to do with boys but the number of girls getting caught up in the system has been growing for the last. Few decades and black girls received suspensions at six times the rate of white girls. Ross reporter Code Brag has been digging into this and joins me now Echo Hayao so tell me more about what you found so the research shows that adults. It's like teachers school resource officers. We increasingly have cops in. Schools are criminalising black girls for their behaviors in ways that are just not being applied to white girls and so how do these experiences with school discipline collide with the criminal justice system. So basically what's happening is black. Girls are being pushed out of school. And that's a term. That comes from Dr. Monique Nick Morris. She's a social justice scholar and she wrote a book called push out and a new documentary is out with that same title so push out is not necessarily about the behaviors of young people will sort of in the way that we've come to understand it through the term drop out but ultimately about the systems that intersect to render our young people vulnerable to to not completing their school and learning and it really gets into this concept. That black girls are being deliberately pushed out of school through suspensions for the way they wear their hair or the way that they act in class. And they're getting pushed right into the juvenile detention system. It has to do with the way we see eh girls and particularly black girls as older so we adult defy them. I've called it an age compression which just basically means that. What we're doing in this society is taking away the girlhood of black children and adolescence that we are assigning them a more adult like identity by expecting them to be little women as opposed to girls? We then treat them as older okay. So you shouldn't be speaking to me. You know no better than that. So I'M GONNA punish you as such and so those suspensions. Those expulsions are then now heightened to calling in police to having school resource officers remove young girls from class. We saw a recent scenario in Orlando where a girl was arrested. The first grader was handcuffed. Fingerprinted even had a mugshot taken. But that was not the first and only case where we've seen very young girls Having a Tantrum in class and the response is to engage law enforcement so the case of the six year old in Orlando his infuriating but it got national attention engine. I mean I'm in California and I heard about what was happening in Orlando and that officer got reprimanded. I'm curious about the cases that happen every Dave. We don't talk about him yes. There's a lot of missing context in those stories and that there are many many other black girls feel like that every day other children are allowed to be kids hits. They're allowed to throw tantrums and act up in school. But because of the weight that we put on black children and specifically black girls that is bleeding Over into the way that we punish them on top of that like we know from research that blacks are going through puberty much earlier and that kind of also gets weaponized. They walk walk in with a tank top and they're immediately seen as being sexually provocative there's a differential enforcement of dress codes that makes black girls particularly vulnerable honorable to being told to leave school. And so part of Dr. Monique Morris has research is that she's helping create these spaces where girls who've been arrested or putting the juvenile detention system or expelled from school can transition back and they can reenter society. They can find an inkling of their girlhood again. As a father of a young girl is a very confusing time for everybody You throw in the fact that you're in a system that looks at little black girls. They are supposed to be older and act older. And then it ends up turning into a criminal situation with overzealous school resource officers or even teachers. Then you really have a recipe for some bad things happening. Yeah and so. Then that's where this concept of push out comes into play. It's not not just that you're getting in trouble that you're being told that you don't belong in school. I mean I think about like when I was in grade school just a small ways that like my white white teachers would kind of single me out for like wearing beads and my hair and making too much noise. That's something that gets you kicked out of class and so when you're in a place where you're seeing that other students aren't getting spoken to the same way. They're not being punished kids. Pick up on that and sometimes it's just like I'm going to make the decision not to go back to that place. I I think the older you get. It's easy to forget how your words or the way you treat a child can really imprint on them them and they can just take on those words in those actions as their own. Yeah and I think we do this thing as adults like life. Jade's US and so we forget how important the role of teacher is like. You want your teacher to like you and give you good grades and give you great feedback and so when you have the exact opposite happening like Mike. This teacher doesn't care about me so who cares about me. That's devastating particularly around for black girls. You see teachers Actually admitting on record that they didn't expect much from those girls. This is Jody Manda and she's a criminal law professor at Golden Gate University and she's one of the few researchers that actually focuses on girls in the justice system. They don't expect black girls to perform at high rates so when they see them not performing they they treat them the same as other girls. Because they don't expect doc better Where you see? The data shows that particularly for non girls of color. There is higher expectations. So how do these misconceptions play out when it comes to sentencing being in the treatment of girls in the criminal justice system so what's happening as pipeline continues and adults are putting black girls into the criminal justice system more frequently silently and For really minor things and there's not a lot of research on these disparities and that's in part because we focus so much on boys in the system but not nandor really focuses young girls and specifically the decisions that adults are making that can change the course of a girl's life there's discretion on the part of the teacher who refers the Child Unit weathered the refers to child although psychologist or to the principal's office. The principal has a decision about whether to call the police officer or whether it again to send the child services then you have the police officer who has a decision. Listen to file a case or to send the kid to services so by the time the girl lands in the system there are many adults who have had opportunities to offer services assist to this child and nobody has offered the child services. Black girls are getting into the justice system at much higher rates than other girls and so once they're there. They are subject to more time in Juvie more punishment so in the face of these statistics and this link between push shout and juvenile justice would needs to change so the adults in the room have to change. The duty is for the adults to see children as children children and to look at the myriad of options before them do. I need to charge. This child does this child need actual medical attention and do they need counseling. A lot of girls into the system with pre-existing trauma that has not been worked out and that's true of people of all ages and something that Jodi neander raises is whether or not we should be punishing girls punishing children in this way by incarcerating them in the first place. You know I love to get to a place while say you know. I used used to study. This system called the juvenile justice system. We don't have that system anymore by could take every school in the country that has a school resource officer replace that with a mental health professional. That would be my first fix. My second fix would be to invite community members and girls who urban system involved to the table when creating this programming who better to shape the the system then kids who know it best who live it who might have been pushed out. You have to bring children to the table. And you have to honor all parts of their identity in shaping the school's curriculum the systems that they live in and he systems that sometimes result in their punishment coup brag the investigative friend Mississippi. Thanks so much for coming in thanks I'll prescribe nearly produced. Today's episode Janci Ian was the Editor Co brags work comes to US through Reveals Investigative Fellowship Program. Our production manager is Monday in hosa original score and sound design by the dynamic. NIMICK DO O.. J. Breezy Mr Jim Briggs Fernando my man Yo Arruda that help this week from the Jeeva mini and Amos are. CEO's Chris Schaumburg that Thompson. Johnson is our editor in chief are executive producers Kevin Sullivan. Our theme. Music is by Colorado lightning support for provided by the river. Dave Logan Foundation the John John D and Catherine T. Macarthur Foundation the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation the Ford Foundation the Housing Simon's Foundation Democracy Fund and the Ethics and excellence in journalism. Awesome Foundation reveal is a CO production of the Center for investigative reporting and P. R. X. I'm Alison and remember. There is always more to the story.

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