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Data Snapshot 2016

¹ Pittsburgh Promise (9/20/16)


Wald, J., & Losen, D. (2003). Defining and redirecting a school-to-prison pipeline.

New Directions for Youth Development

, 99, 9-15.


Wallace, J. M., Jr., Goodkind, S., Wallace, C., & Bachman, J. (2008). Racial/ethnic and gender differences in school discipline among

American high school students: 1991-2005.

The Negro Educational Review

, 59, 47-62.


Civil Rights Data Collection (2013-2014). Accessed online at



Crenshaw K., Ocen, P., & Nanda, J. (2015).

Black girls matter: Pushed out, overpoliced and underprotected

. New York, NY: African

American Policy Forum.


Morris, M. W. (2016).

Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools

. New York, NY: The New Press.


Van den Bergh, L., Denessen, E., Hornstra, L., Voeten, M., & Holland, R. W. (2010). The implicit prejudiced attitudes of teachers: Relations

to teacher expectations and the ethnic achievement gap.

American Educational Research Journal

, 47(2), 497-527.


Jones, N. (2010).

Between good and ghetto: African American girls and inner-city violence

. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.


American Association of University Women. (2001).

Hostile hallways: Bullying, teasing, and sexual harassment in school

. New York.


Personal communication, Nancy Hubley Esq., Education Law Center.

School Discipline

Black girls comprise the largest group receiving Pittsburgh Promise college scholarships, and,

of those scholars, many are successfully navigating higher education.


While some Black girls

are progressing through the education system, many others encounter significant barriers that

impact their success. Recent attention has been focused on what has been termed the school-

to-prison pipeline.


School discipline and exclusion often lead to justice system involvement, and

youth of color are much more likely than White youth to experience school discipline, despite

evidence that their behaviors do not differ as much as these disproportionate rates would



Black girls in Pittsburgh Public Schools are more than

3 times as likely

as White girls to be suspended from school.


At times, Black girls are pushed out of

school and caught up in the justice system

for behaviors in which others girls engage

but for which they do not experience this

same exclusion and punishment.


There is

evidence that differential treatment of Black

girls in schools is often a result of implicit

biases. Internalized racialized gender norms

impact how authority figures react to Black

girls, and stereotypes about Black girls may

lead teachers to label them insubordinate or



Black girls are especially likely

to be disciplined for behaviors which are

subjective, such as defiance and disrespect.

Often when girls, especially Black girls, are

disciplined at school for disruptive behavior

or fighting it is because they are defending

themselves from harassment or assault.



national survey of 8th - 11th graders found

that two-thirds of Black girls, and over half

of White girls, had been “touched, grabbed,

or pinched in a sexual way” in their schools.


Some schools have resorted to protecting

girls from harassment and assault by sending

them home after marking them present,

rather than sanctioning the perpetrators and

creating a safe learning environment.



the ways we deal with Black girls’ behaviors

in schools frequently punishes them for their

own victimization and, at times, criminalizes

their survival strategies.