A new report is further confirming the racial biases black girls face in school when it comes to being disciplined.
The National Black Women’s Justice Institute recently examined the Education Department’s data from the 2013-2014 school year, which was released in June 2016, and found that nationally, black girls were more than seven times more likely than white girls to receive an out-of-school suspension.
Though black girls made up only 16 percent of the female student population, 28 percent of them were physically restrained, 43 percent were referred to law enforcement (2.5 times more likely than white girls) and 38 percent were arrested (four times more likely than white girls). Latina elementary students were nearly three times more likely to be arrested than non-Latina white girls.
The social justice nonprofit also looked at these trends regionally. In the South and the West, black girls were five times more likely to face suspension than white girls; in the northeast, black girls were six times more likely to face suspension; and in the Midwest, black girls were 10 times more likely.
“The overrepresentation of Black and Latina girls receiving school discipline is alarming,” the institute’s president, Monique W. Morris, said in a statement. “These findings further demonstrate why we must have promising and effective responses for our girls of color that co-construct safety through a lens of cultural competence and gender responsiveness.”
This information isn’t surprising given that black girls have historically faced extreme inequality at school with little to remedy it. During the 2011-2012 school year, black girls were suspended six times more often than their white peers.
A study published by Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality in June showed that adults view young black girls as less innocent and more adult-like than white girls starting as young as age 5. Study co-author Rebecca Epstein previously told HuffPost that the racial biases black girls face must be addressed.
“The consequences of entering the juvenile justice system can’t be ignored,” Epstein said. “As we know, it can change the course of a girl’s life. But despite these startling statistics, there’s precious little research about why this different treatment happens; why are black girls subjected to more discipline and greater contact with the juvenile justice system?”
Read the National Black Women’s Justice Institute’s full study here.