Benign Neglect of Black Girls Has Bad Consequences
Research suggests that Black girls sometimes get less attention than their male counterparts early in their school careers because they are perceived to be more socially mature and self-reliant. But this lack of attention can have catastrophic consequences, leading to something researchers like UCLA’s Crenshaw call “benign neglect,” which ends up diminishing the school attachment in both high- and moderate-achieving female students.
Girls in Trauma Get Attention by Acting Out
In environments in which discipline is emphasized over counseling, girls who struggle with trauma and other unmet needs may come to the attention of school personnel only when their behavior leads to punishable offenses. The available evidence, however, suggests that implicit biases, stereotyping, and other cultural factors may play a role. These dynamics may contribute to perceptions by decision makers that a Black girl has run afoul of institutional norms, and that punishment, rather than restorative or therapeutic responses, is warranted, according to researchers Douglas Downey and Shana Pribesh.