Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools

Monique W. Morris. New Press, $26.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-62097-094-2
The school-to-prison pipeline has been examined largely for how it affects men, but Morris, cofounder of the National Black Women’s Justice Institute, shifts our focus to the deleterious impact on African-American girls in racially isolated, high-poverty, low-performing schools. Morris examines the zero- tolerance policies (“the primary driver of an unscrupulous school-based reliance on law enforcement”), coupled with the increased police presence and surveillance tools (e.g., metal detectors and bag check stations) to show their effects on African-American girls. Through the voices of young girls themselves, she conveys their experiences with teachers and staff at school and in the juvenile correction facilities. She is particularly attentive to the sexual exploitation and abuse of girls, including transgender and special-needs girls. Morris’s work, buttressed by appalling statistics and scholarly studies, is supplemented by two useful appendices (“A Q&A for Girls, Parents, Community Members, and Educators,” “Alternatives to Punishment”) and a list of community resources. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/18/2016
Release date: 03/01/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
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