Breaking the Silence

On October 9th, during the Dignity in Schools National Week of Action, Girls for Gender Equity & the African American Policy Forum held a Town Hall titled #BreakingtheSilence.

breakingthesilence_0.jpg

Cis and transgender girls of color testified to a packed house about their experiences with school pushout, incarceration, and other issues they face that are often overlooked by the community. Teachers Unite member Sarah Camiscoli was not able to testify for lack of time, but here is her testimony (you can read the full thing here):

I believe a commitment to wholeness for our schools involves not only addressing the school pushout of young women through zero tolerance policies, suspension, and sexual harassment, but also in addressing the kinds of school push out that are more subtle, sometimes unnamable, and elusive.

In my experience, there is an often-overlooked form of pushout that particularly affects young women of color who attend racially segregated public schools in NYC. This pushout affects young women who are learning English as a second language, and those who receive disability services. The intersection of being a young woman of color, learning English or having a learning disability, and attending a racially segregated public school is an intersectionality that is often unspoken of and, in my experience, can be one of the most menacing in terms of pushout.

Read more here!