Recent political oppositions have left many in the Minnesota Public Schools attempting to solve the challenge of Black student disproportional school discipline. Those schools have resorted to both symbolic and human resource tactics to reduce the perception of racism in their schools. These schools can only overcome disproportionate Black student discipline by empowering teachers to promote positive racial teacher student classroom relationships.
In the Minnesota Public Schools, a Black student is eight times more likely to be disciplined when compared to White students. Politicians have made it a battle ground to support their future agendas while leaving both teachers and students victimized. In one case a student who was removed from a class by the principal exclaimed that “The teachers only sees me.” Implying that White teachers are racist against Black students.
Black students have perceptions regarding White teachers. The historical marginalization of Blacks by slavery, conquest, and colonization has left students to believe that school is detrimental to their identity which directly impacts student achievement.
Students do better in school when they believe getting a good education will increase their chances for success. However, when many Black students realize the impact that education has had on their parents, the importance of school is minimized. White teachers can reverse this minimalization by exhibiting favorable feelings towards their students. Students who perceive that teachers have favorable feelings toward them have higher achievement levels when teachers have positive views towards them. Children who have positive feelings regarding teachers have higher achievement levels resulting in a decrease in classroom discipline challenges.
On the other hand, White teachers have perceptions regarding Black students which results in classroom discrimination. Teachers discriminate against students by stereotyping according to ethnicity. White teachers may have difficulty in understanding minorities due to the teachers’ rejection of the students’ lifestyles. Schools participate in the discrimination by enforcing rules that result in a bias against students who do not share the same characteristics as White, female, and middle-class teachers.
Furthermore, teachers discriminate against students by implementing differential discipline. Teachers with high percentages of Black students in their classroom are more likely to use an authoritarian classroom management approach and react to Black student learning experiences that are in opposition to traditional public schools by determining Blacks are incapable of following simple rules and therefore make rules that they deem intolerable which ultimately impacts student achievement.
Since it has been proven that White teachers are incapable of closing the achievement gap, they protect their livelihood by blaming the student resulting in Blacks receiving disproportionate disciple. White teachers have inadvertently developed schemes associated with dysfunctional organizations which ultimately protects their household income.
The cornerstone of education has been a vehicle that has allowed Whites to prosper and provide for their families while effectively producing a permanent underclass. White females especially have had the privilege of supplementing the household income and benefiting from employment in education to continue to rear their children. Schools are closed every evening and every weekend which has become important to the survival of the White family and the White economy. Since the production of historically underserved teachers is a process that may not make a difference for decades, schools must resort to the strategy of empowering White teachers to promote positive racial teacher student classroom relationships.
Developing positive relationships with White teachers and Black students provides benefits for schools, teachers, and students. Having positive and caring relationships increases resilience and protects children from academic failure, mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, and destructive behavior and violence. Long-term teacher-student relationships result in increased teacher job satisfaction. Teachers who have positive feelings toward their students are more likely to have students reciprocate those positive feelings. Teachers who develop positive and personal relationships with students may prevent psychological development problems in their students. Black students are more willing to develop positive relationships with teachers who tend to form close friendships with their students.
All the best,
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 4707 Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
- Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships
- Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology
- The Raccelerate Formula App
- Treasures of Hidden Racism in Education
- The Ultimate Guide to Classroom Racism Management
“Dr. Campbell did his part and now all we have to do is run with it.”
~ Tom Coleman ~
Woodstown-Pilesgrove Public Schools Superintendent of Schools
“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