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After the Trump assassination attempt, defining democracy gets even harder; Trump picks Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, a once-fierce critic turned loyal ally, as his GOP running mate; DC residents push back on natural gas infrastructure buildup; and a new law allows youth on Medi-Cal to consent to mental health treatment.

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Former President Trump is injured but safe after an attempted assassination many condemn political violence. Democrats' fears intensify over Biden's run. And North Carolina could require proof of citizenship to vote.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Black girls' safety in schools: Miami-Dade study makes urgent call for change

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Thursday, May 2, 2024   

A new report shows Black girls are enduring disproportionate discipline, sexual harassment and public humiliation from school-based police and security guards in Miami-Dade public schools.

The report, "Keep Her Safe: Centering Black Girls in School Safety," compiles the experiences of Black girls and young women between the ages of 14 and 24, sharing their stories through surveys and focus groups about mistreatment by school safety personnel who make them feel unsafe.

Bayliss Fiddiman, director of educational equity at the National Women's Law Center, which produced the study along with the Southern Poverty Law Center, said the girls were being treated differently for their appearance, often unaware of the lines of sexual harassment.

"The girls express school security guards making inappropriate comments about their appearance that could range from. 'Oh, she looks ghetto,' or 'she's too big to wear that outfit. I would never let my daughter wear that,'" Fiddiman explained.

The report urged the school system to use proven behavioral interventions in such cases, rather than using policing, surveillance and harsh student punishment. Miami-Dade schools has not responded to a request for comment on the study.

Fiddiman pointed out in listening sessions, the girls also did not have a clear understanding of whom to tell if they felt violated. She argued it is an opportunity for school leaders to step in and explain school safety procedures by engaging students in the conversation.

"Schools can definitely implement policies around explaining what sexual harassment is, what boundaries are, what is safe and healthy," Fiddiman recommended. "That was missing."

The report underscored incidents of security using excessive force, such as a 16-year-old Black girl being slammed to the ground, rendering her unconscious and subsequently handcuffed to prevent a fight in 2021. In 2023, a Miami-Dade security guard faced allegations of attempting to seduce three teenage girls.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act in response to the 2018 Parkland shooting aimed to bolster school safety. However, it also led to heightened law enforcement presence in schools and increased surveillance measures.


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