In a recent article, a seventeen year old Black male, Laquan McDonald, was shot by an Chicago police officer. The Black male was pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital. The police officer has been placed on administrative leave.
Black seem to become homicide casualties when encountered by police. A recent article reports that the Oakland NAACP reports out of 45 officer-involved shootings in the city between 2004 and 2008, 37 of those shot were black. None were white. One-third of the shootings resulted in fatalities. Although weapons were not found in 40 percent of cases, the NAACP found, no officers were charged. Also included in the article the New York City Police Department reported that more black people have been shot by NYPD officers between 2000 and 2011 than have Hispanics or whites. In another article, 92% of the persons shot by police are Black. The police killings of Blacks has an impact on the Black youths that attend Chicago Public Schools.
Many Black youths who attend Chicago Public Schools probably have great distrust towards the cops. This same distrust will transfer into the classroom. The distrust will inhibit academe mc growth because Black student will resent teachers who are white and resent the same power structure as the police. The parents of Black students will not support schools efforts because they are products of the Chicago Public Schools. They will support their children’s resentfulness because they were subjected to the same challenges that their Black children now face. The Laquan McDonald shooting provides Chicago Public Schools teachers an opportunity to bridge the gap and reduce racism in the classroom. Teachers can begin this process by showing Black children how to protect themselves from the same incident and this will place the White teacher in the position as a hero in their lives instead of a villain.
Develop a lesson plan that instructs the children to research police teenager shootings. For Language Arts teachers, develop a rubric that emphasizes Language Arts curriculum standards. For mathematics teachers, develop a rubric that emphasizes researching statistics. The most important fact is that the teacher must use a rubric to ensure that you are meeting academic standards outlined by the Chicago Public Schools.
Allow students to express their true feelings about the Laquan McDonald shooting. Do not express your opinion, as tempting as it may be. Finalize the lesson by having students to develop strategies that ensure that they survive and graduate high school. End your lesson by stating that we teachers care about you, we want to ensure that you graduate and that is why I took the time to ensure that you develop strategies that will keep you safe.
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