**ADVANCE FOR USE SUNDAY, MAY 22, 2011 AND THEREAFTER** In this March 7, 2011 photo, Patricia Pillar, right, instructs a pregnant student on what to expect when giving birth during her Pregnancy and Parenting class at the John Hope Education Center in Indianapolis. The center specializes in teaching students who are at particular risk of failing in school and dropping out -- expectant teens and young mothers. (AP Photo/The Indianapolis Star, Michelle Pemberton)

‘I’m Not Slow’: Black Girls Tell Their Experiences of School ‘Pushout’ in New Book

April 13, 2016

For Black girls, the very schools charged with educating them reinforce and reproduce a dangerous, though often invisible, form of racial and gendered inequality, explains Dr. Monique W. Morris in her new book, Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools.

Among the young girls the reader meets in Pushout, there’s “Mia” (not her real name, as Morris used pseudonyms for all girls interviewed). Mia talked about how a “juvie” teacher assumed that when she asked for other tasks in class, that the girl didn’t complete her work. But Mia told Morris that she had raced through the assignment. Said Mia: “Then I’m like, ‘Can I write or draw?’ Something? I mean, it’s a whole hour to go.’ She was like, ‘No, you can’t do anything. You’re always getting done before the whole class. You know what, get out.’ …. I’m like, ‘Because I do my work, I’m actually trying to do my work now, and now you want me to get out? Hella shit.’”

What Mia wanted was positive recognition. Instead, she got written up.


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Feature Image: AP Photo/The Indianapolis Star, Michelle Pemberton