College of Education will host documentary, discussion about criminalization of young Black girls

flyer for film Pushout: the Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools
The March 11 event will include a panel discussion with GRPS leaders and faculty members from GVSU and U-M.
Image Credit: courtesy photo

The College of Education will host a campus and community screening of the documentary "Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools," which examines how educational and judicial disparities disrupt education for young Black students.

The March 11 event will begin at 6 p.m. and include a panel discussion. Register online to receive a Zoom invitation. Event organizers chose March 11 as an opportunity to remember and reflect on Breonna Taylor’s death, which occurred on March 13, 2020.

Panelists are Larry Johnson, assistant superintendent, chief of staff and executive director of public safety/school security for Grand Rapids Public Schools; Tonisha Jones, associate professor for criminal justice, GVSU; Natasha Neal, director of community and student affairs for GRPS; and Camille Wilson, university diversity and social transformation professor, University of Michigan.

The documentary is based on Monique Morris' book of the same title. Leanne Kang, assistant professor of education and one of the event organizers, said she hopes participants will learn how Black girls are misunderstood by school officials, who are then quick to punish, expel or have girls arrested.

"I hope our students and participants will recognize the relevance and urgency of the issue," Kang said. "Yes, this is about ending the pushout of Black girls in schools but also ending the ways in which racism, sexism, and other inequalities are reproduced and institutionalized more broadly."

The film is part of the Educational Foundation’s Film and Speaker Series.