Girls of Color in Boston Schools Face Academic Disparities

At-large Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley held the first-ever listening-only forum on September 11 for girls of color and their parents on how school policies have affected their well-being and academic experiences.

This past summer, Pressley helped the National Black Women’s Justice Institute conduct focus groups with more than 100 girls of color from Boston Public Schools about their experiences with school climate and discipline policies. The testimonies from these focus groups were also shared at the hearing.

“The school-to-prison pipeline is growing for girls. Research shows that girls of color are disproportionately impacted by school discipline policies, which can too often result in long term negative life outcomes,” said Pressley.

“I want to ensure that here in Boston, our policies and programs are co-constructed with our girls, and have the intended outcomes that lead to safe and productive school environments for all students,” she said.

Pressley and NBWJI plans to use the testimonies, data research and the focus group results to craft policy recommendations to improve the academic experiences of girls of color in Boston Public Schools.

Out of the 45 attendees, 12 students, four parents and two researchers testified.

Read the full story in The Bay State Banner.