As long as students of color are profiled, criminalized and pushed out of school, we will continue to be bombarded with reports of “disturbing” incidents. All of us will bear the brunt of the consequences of allowing these horrific interactions to continue. Students are affected by lost instruction time, poor educational outcomes and decreased employment opportunities, and families are shattered by more incarceration. Last year, in our report, “Unlocking Opportunity for African-American Girls,” it was noted that in the 2011-12 school year, 12% of all African-American female pre-K through 12 students were suspended from school, six times the rate of white girls and more than any other group of girls and several groups of boys — despite research showing that African-American children do not misbehave more frequently than their peers.
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