“Orange Is the New Black” comes to New Jersey’s Public Schools: Black Girls and Disproportionate Rates of Out-of-School Suspensions and Expulsions

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This paper explores out-of-school suspensions and expulsions among Black females, who have often been ignored in the extant educational research literature. More specifically, the authors explore the question of whether Black females have been overrepresented in out-of-school suspensions and expulsions in New Jersey public schools. Using data from the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), the authors found that Black females in New Jersey have in fact been overrepresented in both, out-of-school suspensions and expulsions. The extent of that overrepresentation of Black females has not only worsened over time but could also be considered graver in New Jersey than in the rest of the United States. The authors additionally contend that these school push-outs increase the likelihood that Black girls will enter the school-to-criminal justice pipeline. After discussing the study findings in detail, the authors provide several recommendations that are designed to help better comprehend and address the various discipline-related issues impacting Black girls in the New Jersey public school system and that could potentially have broader implications for all of the nation’s schools.



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