Criminalization of Black girls in schools is focus of documentary screening

Waynesboro Public SchoolsWaynesboro Public Schools is presenting a public screening of the documentary “Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools” on Thursday, Oct. 14, at the Wayne Theatre.

A distinguished panel composed of administrators from the Waynesboro and Augusta County school systems, the Virginia Department of Education, parents and former public school students will discuss the documentary and respond to audience questions.

“Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools” is a feature-length documentary that takes a close look at the educational, judicial and societal disparities facing Black girls. Inspired by the groundbreaking book of the same name by renowned scholar Monique W. Morris, Ed.D., the documentary confronts the ways in which the misunderstanding of Black girlhood has led to excessive punitive discipline which in turn disrupts one of the most important factors in their lives, their education.

“This documentary screening and panel discussion is a great opportunity for our local community to come together with a solution oriented approach to talk about this nationwide crisis,” said Kendra Jones Carter, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Waynesboro Public Schools.

Black girls in high school are:

  • 6 times more likely than their white girls to be suspended.
  • 3 times more likely to receive 1 or more in-school suspensions than white female students.
  • 3 times more likely to be restrained than white female students.
  • 2 times more likely to receive corporal punishment than white female students.
  • 4 times more likely to be arrested than white females.
  • 3 times more likely to be referred to law enforcement than white females.

“Data shows that Black girls are more likely to be punished, suspended or expelled from school than their white counterparts,” Jones Carter said. “This does not mean that other girls are not getting in trouble. It means Black girls are disproportionately punished for it. With these statistics, it is important that all of our students, including Black girls, know they are valued and that we as a community want to create a system that truly supports them.”


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