Black Girls in Orange Jumpsuits: A Scoping Review of How School Pushout Leads to The Criminalization of Black Girls in Canadian Schools

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Fletcher-Dyer, Kadeon Antonette
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Mount Saint Vincent University
Black youth in Canada face significant obstacles when navigating the education system due to institutional and social barriers that impede their access to a comprehensive education. This situation is particularly problematic for Black girls, who experience compounded challenges due to their intersecting identities. To explore the relationship between the lived experiences of Black girls in Canadian schools and school pushout and the school-to-prison pipeline, I conducted a scoping review of literature published between 2010 and 2022. A search of 10 databases yielded 1404 articles, which were then screened and reduced to 12 using inclusion and exclusion criteria. Three common themes emerged from the analysis: 1) exclusionary discipline policies, including zero-tolerance policies, often criminalize Black girls’ actions and lead to premature school dropout, 2) Black girls are subjected to static, stereotypical identities that result in alienation and otherization within Canadian classrooms, and 3) systemic racism perpetuates racial inequalities and discrimination, contributing significantly to school pushout. The review underscores the need for further ethnographical research that centers the voices and perspectives of Black girls to gain a better understanding of how zero-tolerance policies, static stereotypes, and systemic racism contribute to their marginalization and pushout from schools and into the school-to-prison pipeline in Canada. Such research is essential to inform equity and diversity policies and design strategies that address the institutional and interpersonal barriers and discrimination that Black girls face.