First Meeting of Pushout: the Criminalization Of Black Girls In Schools, by Monique W. Morris
Our first meeting took place on July 7th . In our group: educators from public and private schools—teachers of students from pre-K to 12 and a high school counselor. We discussed the many female students we have taught and counseled that are reacting to trauma or just trying to honor their own voice in the classroom—many times these reactions and attempts to grow into independence are treated as misbehaviors. Most of us have had personal experience in our schools of Morris’ contention that many African-American girls are treated as adults (especially when it comes to discipline) when they are still clearly children.
Acknowledging and discussing these truths connects us as educators and helps us realize the scope of this issue, but what can we do to change this situation for our students? We were able to speak honestly about examining our practice—realizing our own personalities and experiences factor in to our actions and reactions, and understanding how experience and relationship-building in our schools and with our students can help us grow as educators and also help our students.
We realize that school is often the safest place that many of our students occupy on a daily basis—so our stated goal is to keep ALL our students in school as much as possible. We resolved to come up with an action plan for our schools in September: real steps we—as educators and advocates—can implement to help our students stay in school and enable our schools to become safer spaces for all.
Reading for Meeting 2 (August 4 th ): Chapters 3, 4, & 5.