Produced by Women in the Room Production and based on social justice activist and scholar Monique W. Morris’ book of the same name, Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools is the story of five Black teens dealing with harsh, borderline abusive, treatment at school. But this is far from the story of just five students, for Black female students across the country, the intersection of gender and racial inequality often makes it harder for Black girls to thrive in school.
Whether through racist hair discrimination or violence from school resource officers and teachers, misogynoir in the school system is part of American culture. According to a 2017 study by the National Women’s Law Center, Black girls are five times more likely to be suspended and are six times more likely to be expelled than their white counterparts.
Samaya Sillard, 15, one of the students featured in the documentary, recalls her mistreatment:
“I was basically bullied, or felt bullied, by my teacher,” Samaya said to CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan in an interview, detailing an argument with another 2nd grade student which led to her teacher dragging Samaya outside.
“She then grabbed my chair that I was sitting in and dragged me across the room to the door and sat me outside,” Samaya recalled. “And this was the day before Christmas break,” her father, Jason Dillard, added. “And then what happens?” Duncan asked.
“You were near a freeway. In the documentary, you say, ‘Everything could be easier if I just jumped,’” Duncan said.
“You thought about ending your life at the age of 7?”
“Yes.” Samaya said.
By ERIN WHITE