By: Krystle Crossman
We have written previously about how hard of a time black male students have had in schools all over the country. What you may not realize is that black female students have a hard time as well. They are found to have harsher punishments than their white counterparts for the same actions. These punishments often end up causing these girls to fall behind their classmates and they may even have to stay behind a grade due to the fact that they are so far from everyone else.
When she was 15 years old, Tiambrya Jenkins got into a fight with a white female student in class. They were both sent to a school that catered specifically to troubled youth. Even though they both took part in the fight and were both enrolled in the new school at the same time, their release dates were very different. The white female student was able to go back to their old school just 90 days after enrollment. Jenkins however had to stay for an entire year. She said that it was like being in a prison. There were no windows in the classrooms so it was hot and stuffy. The teachers didn’t really seem to care about their jobs or about the students. She said all they did all day was sit and talk until the bell rang. When she was finally released from this school to go back to her old one everyone else was so far ahead of her that she couldn’t keep up with them any longer.
A report from the NCAAP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the National Women’s Law Center stated that black female students were punished more harshly than other races. They also stated that this was most likely due to the fact that stereotypes lead people to believe that all black females are loud, aggressive, and confrontational. Often times the offenses that are listed as a reason for the detentions or suspensions are disobedience or disruptive behavior which is a very broad topic and could cover just about anything. The report also said that black females are more likely to fail tests, get low grades, and even face more s*xual harassment from male students than white females.
Despite all of the negative statistics that came from the report there was one finding that was extremely positive. It showed that more black women felt that they were strong leaders and not followers.