In a recent article, a second bi-racial parent has filed a civil rights complaint with the United States Office of Civil Rights. The parent alleges that her child has been victimized by teachers, staff, and students. Lebanon teachers can prepare for alleged racism in schools civil rights complaints by using several strategies including the Raccelerate Racism Formula.
According to the article, the complaint accuses Lebanon Junior High School teachers of making and tolerating racist comments, segregating black students in the back of the classroom and of singling out black students for alleged violations of the school’s dress code while not enforcing those same policies for white students.
- During a class discussion in January, a student allegedly said that “all blacks sagged their pants and sold drugs and did drugs.” A junior high school teacher allegedly responded, “Yeah,” and after class told Hagan’s daughter and another biracial student that it was “rocket science” to be biracial. Hagan said Lebanon Junior High School Principal Jason Enix did not respond to multiple phone calls she made about this incident.
- During lunch, a student made racial slurs and comments in the presence of minority students and chanted racial epithets in Hagan’s daughter’s face. A school counselor was allegedly notified of the incident and told Hagan’s daughter he would stop by the table to speak to the students, but did not. “That just made me feel like, ‘Hey, they don’t care about you or your friends, they aren’t going to do anything about your problems, which kind of made me feel worse knowing we don’t have anyone there to help,’ ” Hagan’s daughter wrote in the complaint
- Another teacher allegedly seated the “colored” students in the back of the classroom and singled out Hagan’s daughter to ask if she had any grapes. Hagan’s daughter said that “people think all blacks like watermelon, chicken and grapes.”
- Hagan’s daughter and other minority students were subjected to racial slurs and epithets by other students in the hallways and lunchroom which they say they reported to Lebanon Junior High School Assistant Principal Teresa Greenlee, a teacher and a teacher’s aide.
- Hagan’s daughter was subjected to bullying and harassment from other students following the March 22 posting of an Instagram photo by an anonymous user containing a racist caption and threats to attack black students at school.
- A school aide allegedly “picked on” minority students about alleged violations of the school’s dress code, but did not enforce the same policies for white cheerleaders at the school.
One area that the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights will inspect regarding the civil rights complaint is the school districts policy on harassment and intimidation. Presently, Lebanon Public Schools has an anti-harassment policy and process.
- Lebanon teachers should take is to use the anti-harassment policy as an opportunity to address problems associated with civil rights complaints by beginning the process of transforming the perception that students have of teacher intentions.
- Lebanon teachers should post the anti-harassment policy in their classroom visible for all students to view.
- Lebanon teachers should conduct school wide lesson plans regarding the anti-harassment policy.
Another area that the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights will investigate as a response to the civil rights complaint is the perception that students and parents have regarding teachers and administrative staff. While the teachers and administrative staff cannot undue what has happened in the past they can implement a process that promotes positive racial teacher student classroom relationships.
Another area that the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights will investigate as a response to the civil right complaint is the complaint process. Lebanon teachers should develop a process with students have input on the steps that students should follow in the event that they feel discriminated against.
Another area that the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights will investigate is suspensions. Teachers and the School district can use the Raccelerate Racism Formula to determine if they could be deemed a racist. For teachers who find themselves in the category considered racist they can become proactive and put other strategies in place.
Teachers who follow the above mentioned steps will begin the transform the perception that students have regarding their intentions. This provide each teacher with evidence that they have began a process for addressing recent civil rights complaints.
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012
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Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships
“The model that you use to analyze teacher-student relationships is a good one for most school districts”.
~ Joe Vas ~ Perth Amboy Mayor
“Dr. Campbell’s Cultural Relationship Training Program is comprehensive, informative, and should be required training for all schools”
~ Darrell Pope ~ Hutchinson Kansas NAACP President