A recent article repots that school violence will increase due to a new federal mandate. The federal mandate is no longer proving school with a free ride in the area of discipline. Schools will need to come to grips with overcoming the dysfunctional teacher-student classroom relationships by promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships.
According to the article, Why You Can Expect To See More Violence In Schools This Year, schools will incur an increase in school violence because they are now required to adjust their discipline polices to ensure that students of color no longer become a product of the school-to-prison pipeline.
There is evidence that the spike in school violence may have some validity. For example, in Milwaukee several teachers reported a spike in aggressive student behavior after the district began reducing its punishments for students to comply with federal guidelines.
Teacher Gilbert Valdes was attacked by a third-grader who was transferred to his school after stabbing a girl in the face with a pencil. Another teacher, Jennifer, was attacked by a middle school aged student who had just pummeled a sub and had been transferred from another school after violent behavior. This same girl has been placed in a special room for students with behavioral problems. However the student walked out of class, started roaming the hallways, and violently attacked this and another teacher.
Teachers in the Twin Cities threatened to strike due to the levels of school violence. The threat to strike was incited when a 55-year-old Central High School teacher was choked into unconsciousness after trying to break up a fight that started over an argument about football statistics. When the teacher intervened, a 16-year-old student allegedly picked up the teacher and slammed him into a table and chair, before slamming him to the floor. The teacher passed out for 10 to 20 seconds.
What is the federal mandate that schools claim that will increase school violence?
The Every Student Succeeds Act encourages school districts to take a closer look at their discipline practices. It requires school districts to show how they are taking steps to curb discipline practices that remove students from the classroom. This can include identifying schools with high rates of discipline. School districts are also being asked to adopt discipline practices backed by evidence that will keep kids in school. School district’s must implement a school discipline policies that recued the effect of the school to prison pipeline.
This new act is a result of the many school districts that disciplinary results indicate that there is a racial challenge in their school. for example, in Alabama’s Mobile County Public Schools, suspensions were often meted out for minor misbehavior, such as uniform violations or excessive talking. One high school principal suspended more than 90 students for uniform violations in 2013.
In Florida’s Flagler County Public Schools, African-American students accounted for 31 percent of all out-of-school suspensions during the 2010-11 school year – even though they were only 16 percent of the student population. And in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, African-American students have been disproportionately referred to alternative school, where they often languish for months – or even years – before returning to regular classes. These students are often referred to alternative schools for minor misconduct, such as disrespectful behavior, use of profanity, disrupting class and horseplay.
The challenge that school will face is how to meet the new federal requirement and reduce school violence. It is interesting to note that there are very few if any cases where students attack teachers that they like.
Positive relationships at schools and in the classroom are in many ways the prerequisites for effective learning and behavior. Students and teachers who are warm, compassionate, and friendly toward one another in the classroom have the potential to improve instruction and learning and eliminate school violence. Teachers can eliminate school violence by utilizing the Raccelerate Formula and promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships.
All the best,
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 4707 Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
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Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology
The Raccelerate Phenomenon
Treasures of Hidden Racism in Education
“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