Are West Deptford Administrators Responsible for Racism in Education?

In a recent article, a West Deptford Public School student, has filed a civil lawsuit claiming non responsiveness for continued racism in education. The litigants claim that West Deptford Public School administrators failed to respond appropriately to repeated complaints of racial and sexual bullying. The lawsuit claims that as the racism in education continued it was reported to teachers, guidance counselors, assistant principals, and principals with no appropriate response.

Whether West Deptford Public School administrators agree or disagree with a racial or sexual complaint, it is their responsibility to respond to the complaint otherwise it could be considered racism in education.

As the attacks continued, the student was told to start wearing a weave. A hair weave involves the integration of human or artificial hair into one’s own hair. Typically, hair weaving is thought to be used only by African American women. However, both Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé wear weaves, but you only hear about Beyoncé wearing a weave. In some cases wearing a weave is an insult to African Americans because it is the same as saying that naturally Black hair is inadequate when compared to White hair. Black hair is normally curly while White hair is straight.

According to the Atlanta Black Star, there are several benefits of wearing Black hair naturally which include:

  • Styling Natural Hair is More Economical
  • Natural Hair Can Help Black People Regain Control of The Black Hair Care Industry
  • Natural Hair Can Be Cared For Without Dangerous Chemicals
  • Natural Hair is Healthier
  • Natural Hair is More Versatile
  • Combats Society’s Negative Stigma of Natural Black Hair

That is why when the student was told to start wearing a weave it could be deemed as an insult. White staff members who are unaware of this type of racial insult would respond in the same manner as the West Deptford staff did and therefore run the risk of becoming facilitators of racism in education.

I remember as an administrator at Camden County Technical High School, I was responsible for several classroom observations. On this one occasion, I was observing a veteran White female science teacher. She was demonstrating the properties of static electricity. She combed the hair of a Hispanic female student and the experiment worked. Then she called on a Black female student and the experiment did not work. She followed her explanation that the static electric experiment did not work by stating, “This is why we do not wear this type of hair”. I thought to myself, how insulting. It was actually a great opportunity to reinforce why plastic and human hair do not have the same response when considering static electricity.

The West Deptford staff members have the same racial insensitivities that cause litigation that has resulted from racism in education. There are many cases when teachers are racially insensitive. It may help for the West Deptford staff members to review a Black racial slur database to ensure that they no longer subject students to racism in education. It will also help the West Deptford Public School staff to review some of the recent news articles regarding teacher racist remarks.

In order for the West Deptford Public school staff to avert future litigation consistent with racism in education they should use the following process:

If a student believes that racial harassment has occurred, the student should:

  1. Inform the offending person that his/her conduct is unwelcome and should cease immediately. It is important for the victim to communicate that the conduct is unwelcome, particularly when the alleged harasser may have some reason to believe that the racial harassment may be welcome. However, a victim of racial harassment need not confront his/her harasser directly, so long as his/her conduct demonstrates that the harasser’s behavior is unwelcome.
  2. If the alleged racial harassment does not cease, it promptly should be reported to the teacher. In turn the teacher must document the report and the resolutions provided. The teacher must then submit a report to the principal or designee.
  3. If the alleged racial harassment does not cease, then the student/parent must report it to the superintendent. The superintendent will make recommendations to the school board for additional actions.
  4. If a teacher is perceived as racially harassing a student, then the parent/student needs to report the incident directly to the principal. The principal will make recommendations to the superintendent who will in turn appraise the school board of all actions taken.
  5. If a principal or any other employee is racially harassing a student, then the parent should report the incident to the superintendent who will in turn make recommendation to the school board.

The biggest challenge for the West Deptford Public Schools is that the student followed the process and there was no proper relief rendered. The school district will have to transition their culture by promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships (properateasclaships) in order to avert future racism in education.

Related Articles:

West Deptford High School sophomore sues district, claims severe harassment by classmates

Washington Township football coach accused of ‘racial remarks’ in tort claim notice

Ferguson church burning is white supremacist revenge attack, says pastor

Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
www.positiveracialrelationships.com
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012

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Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships

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“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

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About Classroom Racism Exterminator

Racism is a menace and so we’ve been taught for ages which is the primary need for a diversity expert. However, even in this modern society of today where we see a lot of colored celebrities performing on stage with huge fan followings and of course an Afro-America President for the USA, we are still in a phase where racism exists in all its brutal glory and has been eating away at the society like a plague. Classrooms, are one of the most affected areas where color differences and racism exists to its extremes. Even after decades of progress and a lot of communal efforts at bridging the gaps between colored students, white students and teachers, it is sad to say that the disparities still exist and are just as pronounced today as they were back in the 1950s. Colored students, even in the likes of New York City, are attending under resourced schools or have been significantly isolated and made to be unequal in regular schools. Even if the teachers are well-intentioned, perpetuating the structural racism that has taken deep roots into the fabric of our education system is a tough task and make the need for a diversity expert imperative. Teachers need to recognize the biases that exist within the classroom and also take conscious measures to address them and their own biases of course. James Baldwin once said, “it is your very own responsibility to change this society, if you think of yourself as an educated person.” Dr. Derrick L. Campbell took this quote very effectively and straight to the heart and thus this Classroom Racism Exterminator happened. Classroom Racism Exterminator is an initiative that will teach you about your duty and moral obligation towards eliminating racism from the classrooms. This is where and how you will learn about what you need to do to produce a better society that is free of biases and disparities amongst the blacks and the whites. Because we understand how classroom biases and conversations about racism are difficult and how teachers and students almost avoid the topics altogether, we have put together a range of effective methods and products to help address the problem at hand and talk meaningfully to counter issues related to race and racism in the classroom. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell understands that it takes a lot of courage to talk about race and racism and that racial issues need to be viewed through a very critical lens that can understand and attend to the pertaining aspects of racism in the classroom. And therefore through this website we have made a conscious effort to eliminate racism from the classroom and make the educational system equal and beneficial for all. We know and we understand that there are no words that can actually describe how racism feels. There are cases and everybody tends to deal with it in their own manner. Some might lash out verbally or others might just withdraw into shells. Whatever the case, people don’t talk about it openly and teachers don’t really make a conscious effort at addressing the issue. We don’t really know if our children or if the youth is learning to be educated or become racists in their classroom. Our program is focused on helping children of color and regardless of their race, their full potential. We want every student to be able to recognize and reach their full potential so that they think of themselves as responsible citizens of their country and not regard themselves as worthless human beings. Here you will find motivational books and flash card games, all of which have been designed focusing on eliminating racism completely from our classrooms. The books and the games have been consciously designed keeping in mind the American society and educational system. It is a small effort on our and Dr. Campbell’s part to help this society become a better place to live in. A little about diversity expert Dr. Campbell Dr. Derrick L. Campbell the driving force behind Classroom Racism Exterminator is a dynamic figure and a constant source of motivation for us. He has a Bachelors of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology, Math Education, a Masters in Education Administration and also holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. Dr. Campbell is a well known personality throughout the nation. He has lectured at various events including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conference and a lot of local churches. He is a personality well dedicated towards eliminating the plague of racism from our classrooms and helping every child recognize his/her true potential not the color of their skin. He realizes how a child would feel if he/she was made to think they are worthless human beings. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell is compassionate and related to the experiences and therefore this initiative is a constant and continual effort to eliminate racism manifested in us, completely from the classroom and from our society.
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