A recent Baltimore City Public School a teacher student fight is the product of racially biased testing strategies. At the Carver Vocational Technical High, school a fight between a teacher and a student ensued after a student was told to get off her cell phone during a classroom test. The student responded by slinging a chair at the teacher. The confrontation continued into the hallway. Where the student threw a book in the teachers direction the teacher response by slamming the student against the wall and allegedly to the student “I will f***ing Kill You”. A male student intervened and the teacher student fight ceased.
According to a U.S. department of education report, during the 2011-12 school year, 9 percent of school teachers reported being threatened with injury by a student from their school. According to Violence Against Teacher: A Silent National Crisis, 43% of the teachers who are threatened work in a school located within the boundaries of a city. Most threats happen in secondary schools and female teacher overwhelmingly are threaten by students.
The results of teacher student fights are catastrophic. It results in:
- Lost wages
- Lost Days at Work
- The need for additional replacement training after teacher leave
- Lost of instructional time
- The possible need for medical and psychological Care
- Student disciplinary proceeding which could involve police, judicial systems, social service and parents
- Increased workers’ compensations
- Incarceration of students/teachers
The teacher student fight at the Carver High School is going to have a tremendous impact on learning and discipline. First the school will have an increase in fights between students. As indicated in the video, some students believed that the teachers was correct in her response to the student. Others students will take an opposition perspective which will lead to fights and bullying. Second, students who do not feel that the teacher was correct are more likely to become oppositional to all teachers. This is going to lead to an increase in disciplinary consequences which may include additional teacher student fights. Finally, learning for this school will decrease because tensions between students and teachers will increase as well as a loss of instructional time for those students who are assigned a consequence for violating disciplinary infraction.
Parents are going to become even more oppositional to the Baltimore School District as a result of the teacher student fight. Parents will have this opposition because they believe that teacher are educated professional who should have the training to overcome obstacle such as teacher student fights. The parent in Baltimore who continue to struggle financially are going to also believe that the school is detrimental to the education of Black students and will probably never support the district future efforts.
While I am not judging the behavior of the teacher or the student, I believe that we need to take a closer look at how racially biased testing techniques can lead to frustrating Black students which can ultimately can lead to teacher student fights.
The video for the article reveals that the classroom setting may not be conducive to the learning of Black students. The chairs in the classroom were in rows. Black students achieve at higher rates when they are afforded an opportunity to collaborate during instruction as well as assessments and the classroom seating structure should reflect this learning strategy. Black students excel when they are required to perform oral demonstrations of their learning that coo relate to any pencil and paper assessment.
Finally, for this student in particular, I feel as through she did not know the material. This is why she acted out as does many other Black students. If the teacher had taken the time to circle the room during the assessment to check student progress then she would have been able to help this student and avoid any confrontation such as a teacher student fight.
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