By: Krystle Crossman
It is no secret that minority male students are punished far more than white students and the punishments are usually much harsher. But what about the female minority students? New research shows that female minority students with darker skin are punished more often and with more harsh punishments than those with lighter skin.
A 12 year old girl named Mikia from Henry County in Georgia was a quiet girl but was focused on her schooling. Her family was shocked when they were told that she had been caught writing graffiti on the walls of the bathroom but they were more shocked at the punishment that she had been given. Her family was ordered to pay $100 in restitution for the damage on the bathroom wall. She was also suspended for a few days. As if that wasn’t enough a county sheriff came to her family’s home to serve papers that stated that Mikia was being charged with a trespassing misdemeanor. They stated that this could possibly be upgraded to a felony charge. All of this for a 12 year old who was allegedly writing on the walls of a bathroom. She stated that the only thing that she had written on the wall was the word “hi”.
In order to get the felony charge dismissed Mikia had to admit that she had trespassed on the misdemeanor charge. She went the entire summer that year on probation. They issued her a 7pm curfew and she was made to write a letter of apology to the person that owned the shoes that she had allegedly defaced in the incident. She also had to complete 16 hours of community service. The other girl who had been a part of the incident with her was let go without any of these punishments after her family paid the restitution. Her friend was white.
Data that has been pulled over the years shows that 12% of girls suspended were black while only 2% were white. In Georgia alone the ratio was five black girls suspended for every one white girl. They also found that the black girls who had darker skin were punished more harshly than the black girls who had lighter skin tones.