Black School Girls More Harshly Disciplined Over Dress Code: Report

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“I’ve been told about my bra, whether I’m wearing one, the type that I’m wearing,” said Grace, a black senior at DC’s Duke Ellington School for the Arts.

A recent study reveals that black girls are more severely punished at school when compared with their white classmates over violation of dress code policies.

According to a report conducted by the National Women’s Law Center, black girls are unnecessarily and unfairly punished when it comes to school uniform rules in Washington, D.C.

The study notes that black girls were often found to be in violation of dress codes for so-called infringements like being “unladylike,” “inappropriate” or “distracting to the boys around them.”

“I’ve been told about my bra, whether I’m wearing one, the type that I’m wearing,” said Grace, 17, a black senior at D.C.’s Duke Ellington School for the Arts. “It makes me uncomfortable.”

It was discovered that the different treatment given to black girls when compared to other races has an adverse impact on their intellectual ability. “Dress codes have been around for so long, we don’t really think about the message it sends to girls,” said Kayla Patrick, an education fellow at the National Women’s Law Center. “We’re sending the message that what girls wear is more important than what they think.”

It is pertinent to note African-American girls often have a different body structure when compared to their Caucasian peers. So a short skirt on a short girl would look different when compared to a curvy girl.  According to the report, not only are the school uniforms of the black girls policed but their hairstyles and head wraps are also criticized. 

Thumbnail/Banner Image: Reuters

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