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As a result, Black girls are often either suspended for violating dress code policies or pulled out of the classroom to change their clothes. Black girls are also disproportionately pulled out of class for being too loud, too assertive, too sexually provocative, too defiant and too adult-like, according to a law center and Education Trust report titled “And They Cared: How to Create Better, Safer Learning Environments for Girls of Color.”

Researchers at Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality in 2019 conducted focus groups across the country with Black women and girls ages 12 to over 60 to learn about “adultification bias,” the notion that Black girls are more mature than white girls, leading them to be held to higher standards and disciplined more frequently.

Participants often mentioned that school police officers or other adults would tell them they “should have known better” or attempted to modify the behavior of girls of color to follow more traditional white views of gender and sexuality, often suggesting that they should be more “ladylike.”

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