Skip to content

Featured Article: “‘A Battle for the Souls of Black Girls’” by Erica L. Green, Mark Walker and Eliza Shapiro

For years, education reform has looked at discipline disparities between Black boys and white boys. However, recent cases have brought to the forefront the ways in which Black girls are disciplined at rates close to those of Black boys — and in some cases, the inequity between Black girls and white girls is greater than that between Black boys and white boys.

In this lesson, you will learn about several recent cases of Black girls being disciplined in school, and about the research conducted to illuminate the inequality and encourage activism and change. Then, you will reflect on the themes of the article or watch a portion of a documentary about the issue.

Read the article and then answer the following questions:

1. Why do you think the journalists chose to start the article with several recent high-profile cases? What do those cases illustrate to you, and how do they frame the rest of the article?

2. What have researchers and federal civil rights investigations found about punishment and discipline toward Black children, and specifically, Black girls?

3. Rebecca Epstein, the executive director of the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality, has researched and written about the “adultification” of Black girls. Based on your understanding, what does that term mean? What has Ms. Epstein found through her research?

Read the Full Lesson in The New York Times