How should Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools respond to high suspension rates of Black students?

A recent article about the Chapel Hill City Schools reveals a great disparity in student disciplinary consequences. The school district has infused a host of strategies to overcome this challenge. The fact remains that the challenges for Black students in Chapel Hill City Schools persist.

The article reports that, Simon Lee was relaxing on a bench outside Chapel Hill High School’s library. He says he wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary — he was gossiping, joking with friends before his free period. Nothing he should have been disciplined for.

A teacher approached the bench, and Lee said the group told her they would spend the period studying.

“A few minutes later a few security guards came over, and they said they had a call that a few people were skipping,” Lee said. “The security guard said if we were white, it wouldn’t have been an issue.”

The article goes on to state that the largest disparity in discipline between white and black students is in the categories that are hardest to define: defiance, disruption and disrespect. “There are countless examples of how the code of conduct is pitted against students of color,”

Why would a Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School teacher believe that a Black student would disrespect them?

Black students and White teachers have different cultural perspective and expectations. Let’s start with eye contact. Whites believe that maintaining eye contact in face-to-face communication is the most desirable. However, in the Black culture, avoiding eye contact is a sign of respect. Black parents teach their children that looking an adult in the eye is a sign of disrespect while White children learn to do the opposite. Due to the initial eye contact between the teacher and students, the teacher developed a high level of distrust.

Did the conversation between the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City teacher and Black students compound the distrust which could have lead to perceived disrespect?

As the teacher approached the students and completed the non-verbal evaluation, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City teacher determined that the students could not be trusted. The next most likely question was: What are you students doing out here? This question sets the stage for a debate. Black students not only debate the idea, but they also debate the person. For many White teachers this is perceived as a personal attack on their character as a teacher.

The verbal exchange between the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City teacher ended with distrust because Black students are less likely to maintain eye contact with persons in authority. Since Black children tend not to look at the teacher as a sign of respect and the White teacher requires extended eye contact, the conversation ended abruptly and the teacher felt the need to report the students as indicated in the article.

This interaction between the teacher and Black students caused one of the Black students to feel that they were discriminated against. According to the article, Lee’s experiences, on a bench outside the library and throughout his time in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, have roused him to change classrooms for minority students. He has plans to study social justice in college next year and wants to be an advocate for minorities. The only thing that this interaction between the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City teacher and the Blacks students may have confirmed is the Black student belief that White institutions cannot be trusted.

Even though the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City schools have attempted to address this matter through several initiatives, they can only eliminate classroom racism (Elcloomism) by promoting positive teacher student classroom relationships (Properateasclaships).

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

 

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“The model that you use to analyze teacher-student relationships is a good one for most school districts”.

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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.
This entry was posted in Race Relations in America, Racial Profiling, Racism, Racism in Education, School Discipline and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to How should Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools respond to high suspension rates of Black students?

  1. Pingback: What are you going to do about it? | mixed salad

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