The unknown story of a black girl.

This is a video last fall in Columbia south Carolina Spring Valley high school, a school security officer turning over a table and the ground, a girl sitting on the floor, and then she left on the floor. The student is African American; The official was white.

In the end, the official was fired based on radiation surrounding the video. But, scholar, writer and activist monica morris is concerned about what happens when the camera shuts down.

The 16-year-old student was arrested and immediately suspended after the incident. The second student is another black girl, the 18-year-old nanya, whose role seems to encourage her classmates to photograph the event.

In addition, morris said, “my conversations with the south Carolina legal community show that when the girls return to school, they face a very harsh environment.” Both girls began to avoid school.

Recent studies have shown that black girls’ punishment in school is disproportionately higher than that of black boys. For example, they were suspended six times more often than white girls. Morris called it “an unspeakable story,” and she set out to tell the story in her new book, “rollout: criminalization of black girls in schools.”

For this book, morris is in the San Francisco bay area, southern California, Chicago, New York, New Orleans and Boston with the frank, strange and transgender teenage girls. They are detained by teenagers, gangs, foster care, collective housing; They have been homeless, fleeing, sexual abuse and exploitation. They describe how the school became a “hostile space” on the list, not a safe haven.

“The message from black girls is that no one wants them [at school] more than other girls,” morris said.

Here are some of the comments from the girls, from the book, with morris’s background and comments:

Maurice met fith, 15, and was taken into custody. Faith is identified as homosexuality.

“In school, if you have an argument with your teacher, you get lost… If students and teachers are the students, the students will be in trouble automatically.

“I’m a human being, just a person, like the whole world… And then, I think, when you ask someone, it’s wrong, because they’re an adult, and I think, why can I ask a question? …… That’s why I got a mouth. ”

“When a girl is labeled as subversive because she is challenged to ask questions, she is considered not a demonstration of critical thinking, but an insult to the authority of teachers… Girls start to think that the point is how they look, what they wear, what they say, how loud they talk, not whether they’re learning. ”

“I think education is important because no one can take those things away from you,” said a 16-year-old girl, Jennifer, who works in the bay area.

But Jennifer said she was raped by a man who forced her into prostitution at the age of 12. By the age of 16, she had failed in the seventh grade, had been in and out of many foster homes, and had not been in school regularly for more than three years.

The skipping caused the suspension; The same is true of battle. “A lot of people don’t like me because… I used to wear shabby clothes because I didn’t have anything, “she told morris. At the same time, in her foster family, “they like me to talk about me, tell me I’m stupid, never do anything, and I believe this, so this is a time when I return to prostitution.”

Morris said Jennifer’s school missed the opportunity to pull her in, instead of pushing her away. “It is important that we do not separate girls from their performance in school,” she said. “We need to rethink places that are extremely important to girls in order to keep them away from the criminal system.” She says girls themselves, even those with legal troubles, understand the value of education.

In high school in New Orleans, Paris changed from male to female. “In most cases, my problem is not from students, but from the staff and members of the faculty/they would say I am a student of a” distraction “, I’m ‘destructive, because students how can know the room have a such a man as [I]? ”

“Most teachers participate in their work with love, but we are all influenced by implicit prejudice… If we don’t actively monitor and defend ourselves and our institutions, we completely miss the mark and make girls more vulnerable. ”

Morris finished the book with two appendices. One offers direct advice to girls themselves, their parents, education workers and other community members.

Appendix B “alternative to punishment” is an argument and explanation for two different approaches to school discipline: active behavioral intervention systems and restorative justice. Both focus on resolving conflicts within schools, rather than letting students fall out of school.

“When I studied the book, the girls kept saying, ‘if you let me leave the school and don’t solve the problem,'” morris said. “These are places where we ask our children to learn, and if we want them to be safe, we have to find ways to reconcile them.”

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