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African American girls don’t misbehave more or commit more serious infractions, experts say, yet they often receive more severe penalties for the same behavior as white peers. They are nearly six times more likely to get out-of-school suspension than white counterparts, a report from the African American Policy Forum and Columbia Law School’s Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies found, and more likely to be suspended multiple times than any other gender or race of students.

They are “adultified” at a young age, according to research by Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality, which found black girls face both racial and gender bias that feeds the misconception that they are more insubordinate and aggressive and less in need of nurturing and protection.

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