According to a recent article, a New York Times writer has narrowed the cause for the South Carolina racism incident to one entity that operates within the school district. School districts do not operate as isolated or individual components. The primary cause for the South Carolina racism incident hinges on the relationship between teachers and students.

According to the article, SchoolKids in Handcuffs, the author ascertains that the cause for the South Carolina racism incident rest with the security program at the school. The author continues to explain the present civil rights complaints that the school district is presently encountering.

For example, in May of 2015, the Justice Department opened an investigation regarding the security program in Richland County, S.C. Even though the local Sheriff’s department has cooperated, details regarding the investigation are not available to the public. The authors of this article – The Editorial Board – have made a grievous error in supporting the thought that the South Carolina racism incident is a product of one entity within a system that has many parts that are interdependent of each other.

What was the real problem that caused the South Carolina racism incident?

The real problem that caused the South Carolina racism incident was the relationship between the teacher and the student.

Positive relationships in the classroom are in many ways the prerequisites for effective learning and behavior. The positive relationship between this student and her math teacher were non-existent.

A closer look at the events that lead to the South Carolina racism incident reveal that the student was having problems at home. It was reported that the student had recently been placed in foster home due to death of both of her grandparents.

Teachers who have positive relationships with their students are able to show students that they care about them. Good teacher-student relationships include teachers communicating to students that they care about them. Teachers who are caring, friendly, helpful, understanding, and dependable have the ability to foster supportive relationships with their students. Caring teachers’ have the ability to converse with students in a distinctive way. These teachers may think about how what they say sounds from the students’ point of view. They will respond authentically and respectfully rather than giving patronizing pats on the head. Black students prefer warm and supportive teachers and believe that teachers create an optimum learning environment when they care about and bond with their students.

The other problem that caused the South Carolina racism incident was that the student became non-complaint with the teachers requests.

When students become non-complaint in the classroom it results into a classroom disruption. There are many causes for classroom disruptions but many students become involved due to cultural insensitivity.

For example, the major cause for classroom disruptions is talking during instruction. In the classroom, Black students power play by loud talking or back-talking to make teachers lose their cool and get the last word in. Black students also use several verbal techniques to discover a teacher’s strengths and weaknesses in order to evaluate a teacher’s racial attitudes and locate teachers’ breaking points to help the students empower themselves in the situation between them and the teacher.

Some in-class arguments between teachers and Black students are a product of the Blacks system of language socialization that involves students talking, which gets others in the group to listen and respond. Black students are inclined to talk back when motivated by what a teacher says. Black students may become so impressed with the speaker, such as a teacher, that students will want to hear the speaker again due to an interest in how it was said.

Teachers respond to students talking in the classroom without permission by ordering, reprimanding, involving students in work, and naming the student. When a teacher yells, uses harsh words, shames, degrades, or embarrasses a student, such behavior influences all students. Teachers who use coercion, an attempt to manage students by applying sanctions such as detention, suspension, and corporal punishment, are ineffective when working with resistant students. Resistant students view this as the boss using coercion and become the teacher’s adversaries.

Most teachers react to students as authoritarians when involved in conflict situations. Teachers who use excessive authority may psychologically damage children. When working with difficult students, most teachers focus their conversations on what the students are lacking by coercing, reminding, or lecturing the students on what they should be doing, which does not build positive relationships and can make matters worse which was the eventual ending of the South Carolina racism incident.

Related Articles

Dan K. Thomasson: South Carolina incident highlights growing educational concern

Race and Discipline in Spotlight After South Carolina Officer Drags Student

North Carolina sees South Carolina incident

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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