Demands for “Sisterly” Love: Exploring the Hyperpenalization of Black Girls in the School District of Philadelphia

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CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal
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Black girls
education policy
zero tolerance
Political Science
school-to-prison pipeline
school-to-confinement pathways
Kimberlé Crenshaw
Danielle Miles-Langaigne
Nancy Hirschmann
school punishment
American Politics
Civil Rights and Discrimination
Criminology and Criminal Justice
Education Law
Gender and Sexuality
Inequality and Stratification
Law and Gender
Law and Race
Other Education
Political Theory
Prison Education and Reentry
Race and Ethnicity
Secondary Education
Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education
Social Justice
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An immense amount of research, memos, and scholarship has surfaced in the last decade considering the school-to-prison pipeline and Black boys’ involuntary participation in it. Various education scholars have presented data emphasizing how Black male students are disproportionately punished–notably in ways that negatively impact their prospects for educational attainment, social mobility, and long-term empowerment. Many, however, fail to consider their close counterparts: Black girls. This thesis expands upon the Crenshaw, Ocen, and Nanda (2015) report to see if Black girls are also disproportionately penalized in Philadelphia public schools within the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) at higher rates relative to female students of other races. The thesis also employs relative risk ratios to determine, through an intra-gender analysis between Black and white students, if Black girls are disproportionately penalized at higher rates relative to Black boys. The aforementioned scholars created a report on school discipline within Boston and New York City Public Schools. Their intra-gender analyses found that Black girls had a statistically greater risk of experiencing suspension and expulsion relative to female students of other races. This paper applies quantitative research methods through disciplinary data collection from the Civil Rights Data Collection Tool via the Department of Education. Additionally, the project weaves together education policy and political theory to investigate (1) how discourses of power, marginality, and intersectionality inform hyperpenalization; and (2) existing alternatives to current punitive paradigmatic practices.

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