WPS to co-host documentary about criminalization of Black students in schools

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 9:21 AM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WVIR) - Research shows that Black girls are experiencing excessive discipline inside schools, disrupting their education. Waynesboro Public Schools is partnering with community organizations to host a conversation about it.

Together WPS, Augusta County Public Schools, the Virginia Department of Education, and the Staunton and Waynesboro branches of the NAACP are presenting the documentary “Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools.”

There’ll be a panel discussion following the screening of the documentary.

“What I hope is that this will be one of many conversations about the needs of our students and raising awareness of diversity, and how diversity impacts access to our school division programming,” WPS Executive Director of Student Services Doctor Ryan Barber said.

The documentary will be shown at the Wayne Theater at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 14. The event is pay-what-you-will. People can also purchase access to the livestream for the event.

Documentary Screening and Panel Discussion:

Waynesboro Public Schools Partners with Community Organizations to Present: Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools and Panel Discussion

Waynesboro - September 30, 2021; Waynesboro Public Schools in partnership with the Wayne Theatre, and local NAACP branches will present a public screening of the documentary Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools, 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 14, 2021 at The Wayne Theatre, Waynesboro, VA. (Please see the attached flyer with QR code for more information.) A distinguished panel composed of administrators from Waynesboro City, Augusta County Public Schools, the Virginia Department of Education, parents and former public school students will discuss the documentary and respond to audience question & answer. Due to the uncertainties of the current pandemic, face masks are required.

PUSHOUT:THE CRIMINALIZATION OF BLACK GIRLS IN SCHOOLS is a feature length documentary which takes a close look at the educational, judicial and societal disparities facing Black girls. Inspired by the groundbreaking book of the same name by renowned scholar, Monique W. Morris, Ed.D. The documentary confronts the ways in which the misunderstanding of Black girlhood has led to excessive punitive discipline which in turn disrupts one of the most important factors in their lives, their education.

“This documentary screening and panel discussion is a great opportunity for our local community to come together with a solution oriented approach to talk about this nationwide crisis. Data shows that Black girls are more likely to be punished, suspended or expelled from school than their white counterparts. This does not mean that other girls are not getting in trouble. It means Black girls are disproportionately punished for it. With these statistics, it is important that all of our students, including Black girls, know they are valued and that we as a community want to create a system that truly supports them.” Kendra Jones Carter, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.


● 6 times more likely than their white girls to be suspended.

● 3 times more likely to receive 1 or more in-school suspensions than white female students.

● 3 times more likely to be restrained than white female students.

● 2 times more likely to receive corporal punishment than white female students.

● 4 times more likely to be arrested than white females.

● 3 times more likely to be referred to law enforcement than white females.

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