The school-to-prison pipeline is getting worse for black and brown girls

Illustration: Ana Leovy for Guardian US

In the US, black and Latinx girls are disproportionately punished and assaulted by school administrators for simple infractions such as showing emotions

More than 20 years ago, when I was a 12-year-old queer kid coming to terms with her sexuality, I ran away from home. It was after school had let out for the summer, and I spent two weeks in the Florida Keys, joyriding with neighborhood boys, sleeping under a stilt-house restaurant and smoking cigarettes. I was an angry, depressed girl who had spent her childhood pretending to be someone else – except when I found myself in my school’s music room. I took guitar and voice lessons, sang in the school chorus and Christmas musical, played the piano. I spent hours writing song lyrics in composition books, choreographed song-and-dance routines for school talent shows. If there was music involved, I was there.

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