A new study shows that black girls are suspended from school six times as often as white girls — a higher disparity compared to the one between black boys and white boys, Vox reported.
The report was released by the African American Policy Forum and the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies at Columbia University.
The study was based on data taken from schools in Boston and New York City during the 2011-12 school year. Overall, 12 percent of black girls were shown to have been suspended, compared to 2 percent of white girls. Ninety percent of girls expelled from New York Schools that year were black, with no white girls being kicked out at all.
“No white girls were expelled, and thus, no ratio can be calculated,” the study stated. “But the magnitude of the disparity can be captured by simply imagining that one white girl had been expelled. Were that the case, the ratio would be 53:1.”
A similar trend emerged in Boston, where 63 percent of female students expelled were black, with no report of a female white student being kicked out. In this case, researchers said, the ratio between expelled white and black girls would be ten to one.
By comparison, black boys were suspended three times more than white boys, and expelled 10 times as much in New York schools and six times as much in Boston schools.
“These data reveal that in some cases, race may be a more significant factor for females than it is for males,” the report states. “The particular disparities facing Black girls are largely unrecognized in the mainstream discourse about punitive policies in public education. Consequently, efforts to confront the challenge of ensuring equitable and fair opportunities for Black girls in school remain underdeveloped.”
Participants in the study also reported that they felt their treatment by teachers reflected stereotypes about them being “ghetto” or “loud,” as well as a lack of support from school officials when they face situations like sexual assaults or unsafe environments. The report featured a statement from one girl who said she tried to talk to a guidance counselor after being raped, and was ultimately expulsed from her school.
“I wanted someone to listen to me, but she didn’t listen. She was just like trying to figure me out, so I was like, ‘forget it,'” the student said. “It all boiled up, and then I flipped on one of the teachers. Then I hit a teacher, so they kicked me out.”