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For many girls of color, in particular Black girls, school discipline and safety has traditionally been more about criminalizing their behavior than supporting their learning and growth. In partnership with the Education Trust, NWLC hopes to reverse that trend with the release of “. . . and they cared”: How to Create Better, Safer Learning Environments for Girls of Color. Contrary to the belief that exclusionary discipline policies make schools safer, this guide shows that when schools have high rates of suspension for minor offenses, students and teachers more often report feeling unsafe or unsupported in their learning environment. When policymakers and educators intentionally focus on understanding discipline data and purposefully work alongside students and families to adjust policies in equitable ways, exclusionary discipline incidences decrease and school safety increases.  Read “. . . and they cared” to:

  • Learn about steps taken in Oakland and Chicago at the district level and in Massachusetts at the state level to decrease rates of suspensions for Black girls,
  • Hear the voices of girls who have experienced these changes firsthand to evaluate what worked and what changes need to be made to build upon positive police changes, and
  • Review a checklist that educators, school leaders and decision-makers can use to assess what changes they can make to create positive learning environments at the school, district, or state level.

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