In a recent article, a Texas referee allegedly made a racial remark towards Black and Hispanic football players during a high school football game which has indicated the racism in education that exists in the San Antonio School District. Referees play an important role in setting the tone for the entire game. Referees who use racial remarks during a football game should be terminated for establishing a culture that is consistent with slavery. The Texas referee incident has incited the school district to follow a pattern that is consistent with racism in education.
According to a recent article, Texas high school players allege referee in incident used racial slurs, two Jay Johnson High School football players identified as sophomore Victor Rojas and senior Mike Moreno were suspended after one hit referee Robert Watts from behind and the other subsequently speared him with his helmet. The two football players have accused the Texas referee of directing racial remarks towards them.
It appears that an assistant coach encouraged the behavior of the students. Assistant coach, Mike Breed, has been placed on administrative leave for allegedly telling the players that the Texas referee “needs to pay for cheating us”. The San Antonio School District announced that it has decided to treat the incident as an assault on a school official. This is an offense that could lead to expulsion of both football players. It appears that the school district has taken a disciplinary route that is consistent with racism in education.
What school attributes of the Texas referee incident reveal characteristics consistent with racism in education?
Schools discriminate against students by implementing differential discipline. Schools with high percentages of Black students in their classrooms are more likely to use an authoritarian school management approach. School officials and teachers in the school react to Black student learning experiences that are in opposition to traditional public schools by determining that Blacks are incapable of following simple rules and therefore make rules that they deem intolerable.
They attempt to justify this process with the belief that these students want to be disciplined and have some order in their lives for a change. Schools spend more time looking for possible misbehavior by Black students, especially males, and are more prone to respond to Black student behavior by using severe punishments that include corporal punishment and suspensions.
The differences between school officials backgrounds that teach them to conform to preset externally fabricated rules and regulations and Black street culture tendencies to derive order as a situation happens causes school officials to resort to punishment for petty rules in order to force obedience at the expense of hindering learning.
What are some of the Black and Hispanic student beliefs that will lead to opposition of the racism associated with the Texas referee incident?
When incorporating students into a marginalized society by slavery, conquest, and colonization, students believe school is detrimental to their identity. Indians, Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Blacks share the same experience of having been brought into the United States society against their will and then relegated to subordinate status which contributes to racism in education.
Blacks have learned since slavery that the way to get ahead is not through merit and talent but through white patronage. Americans of color adapt to a society that does not value their ethnicity, history, heritage, or language by establishing societal survival strategies. Black parents prepare their children to live in a dual cultural world that involves helping them to develop skills for adult roles such as wage earners and parenthood in addition to negotiating a dominant society that has different cultural values and judges’ people by their skin color or ethnic background. Blacks who live in an urban society and a society that dislikes them for the color of their skin ensure they do not become victims by approaching people with caution, wariness, and a sense of distrust.
Black and Latino urban high school students believe their underachievement results when they perceive racism and discrimination toward them and become limited by American society. High school Latino students believe school is confusing and punishing, which results in their failure at school. Black adolescents believe school is a hostile place where teachers and school officials are oppression agents. White teachers and school officials symbolize the racism Black students have endured throughout their entire lives.
The course of action that the San Antonio School District is taking due to the Texas referee incident validates the beliefs that Black and Hispanic students have regarding racism in education.
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 and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology
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