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68 Ark. L. Rev. 101 (2015-2016)
Stereotype and School Pushout: Race, Gender and Discipline Disparities

handle is hein.journals/arklr68 and id is 111 raw text is: 












      Stereotype and School Pushout: Race,
          Gender, and Discipline Disparities


                           Janel A. George*

         As in a family that can never discuss its fundamental
         secrets, our deeply held and often unconscious beliefs,
         stereotypes, and biases are too rarely brought to the
       surface, examined, and finally expunged Yet as much as
       we seek to lock them from view, race and racism continue
          to color our interactions, including our disciplinary
          actions, on a daily, even moment-by-moment basis.1

                         I. INTRODUCTION

      Loud, disruptive, confrontational, aggressive, unlady-like,
ratchet,2 ghetto3-these are all disparaging adjectives commonly
used to describe the behavior of African American4 women and
girls. These adjectives, rooted in race and gender stereotypes




    * Education Policy Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. I wish
to thank the young African American women who, with their courage, awakened the world
to their power and changed the civil rights landscape in this nation, including Barbara Rose
Johns, Linda Brown, Claudette Colvin, and countless others.
     1. PRUDENCE CARTER ET AL., YOU CAN'T Fix WHAT You DON'T LOOK AT:
ACKNOWLEDGING RACE IN ADDRESSING RACIAL DISCIPLINE DISPARITIES 7 (2014),
available at http://www.atlanticphilanthropies.org/sites/default/files/uploads/Acknowledgin
g-Race121514.pdf.
    2. Ratchet is a disparaging slang term used to negatively describe behavior perceived
as ignorant, unsophisticated, or ghetto. See Definition of Ratchet, ONLINE SLANG
DICTIONARY, http://209.197.79.194/meaning-definition-of/ratchet (last visited Jan. 19,
2015).
    3. See NIKKI JONES, BETWEEN GOOD AND GHETTO: AFRICAN AMERICAN GIRLS AND
INNER-CITY VIOLENCE 9 (2010) (Among urban and suburban adolescents, 'ghetto' is a
popular slang term that is commonly used to categorize a person or behavior as ignorant,
stupid, or otherwise morally deficient.).
    4. The terms African American and black are used interchangeably throughout this
article to refer to those of African descent living in the United States, and not immigrants
from the African continent or throughout the African diaspora (although they are subject to
similar discrimination in United States public schools). Recognizing that African Americans
do not have homogenous experiences, this article focuses particularly on the effects of race
and gender stereotypes rooted in American slavery that impact the educational experiences
of African American girls in United States public schools.

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