Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools

by Monique Morris

Other authorsMelissa Harris-Perry (Foreword), Mankaprr Conteh (Foreword)
Paperback, 2018




The New Press (2018), Edition: First Trade Paper, 304 pages


"Fifteen-year-old Diamond stopped going to school the day she was expelled for lashing out at peers who constantly harassed and teased her for something everyone on the staff had missed: she was being trafficked for sex. After months on the run, she was arrested and sent to a detention center for violating a court order to attend school. Black girls represent 16 percent of female students but almost half of all girls with a school-related arrest. The first trade book to tell these untold stories, Pushout exposes a world of confined potential and supports the growing movement to address the policies, practices, and cultural illiteracy that push countless students out of school and into unhealthy, unstable, and often unsafe futures. For four years Monique W. Morris, author of Black Stats, chronicled the experiences of black girls across the country whose intricate lives are misunderstood, highly judged-by teachers, administrators, and the justice system-and degraded by the very institutions charged with helping them flourish. Morris shows how, despite obstacles, stigmas, stereotypes, and despair, black girls still find ways to breathe remarkable dignity into their lives in classrooms, juvenile facilities, and beyond"--Provided by publisher.… (more)


(28 ratings; 4.1)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Susan.Macura
This is an insightful look at what happens to too many black girls in schools today. The author discusses how black girls are often not understood so they are misjudged and accused of criminal-type acts that serve to push these girls out of school. Leaving school often leads to lives where they
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live in poverty and are open to abuse on many levels. Some of the stories are heartbreaking, mostly because with the right interventions, the results would have been so much different. This is a wonderful book for law enforcement and teachers.
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LibraryThing member froxgirl
This important and insightful work combines scholarly research with anecdotes in a most effective manner. The stereotype of Black girls as being noisy, disrespectful, and stubborn, the author finds, is prompted by attitudes that have persisted since slavery. There's no recognition of their need to
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be respected and their yearning to be taught well in schools - they are most aware of the necessity for a good education.

Chicago's schools, for example, have "closed campus" with no recess, and it's been that way for 25 years. NO RECESS! Think back to your time in school and just try imagining it with "limited time to take a break, release, and reset."

Other problems - sex trafficking, inadequate foster care, and a lack of understanding of "street culture" and limited advice on how to overcome obstacles such as poverty and parental drug addiction are discussed, as are alternatives to punishment such as juvenile facilities.

The author says, "But for the empathetic educators who sought to cultivate my intelligence as a clear path towards personal freedom, who knows where I would be. What I learned and now know with certainty is that the education of Black girls is a lifesaving act of social justice."
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Original language


Physical description

304 p.; 8 inches


1620973421 / 9781620973424
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