How should Chicago Public School teachers respond to new student discipline code?

In a recent article, Chicago Public School teachers are voicing complaints regarding the new student discipline code. Many teachers are totally disgusted with the new codes. The new student discipline codes are designed reduce many of the teachers power in the classroom unless they transform the image that students have regarding their intentions.

According to the article, teachers at a West Town school say a revised student discipline code that scales back suspensions and expulsions has left them struggling to deal with unruly students.

“There were no structures put in place to support this code of conduct,” said Megan Shaunnessy, a special education teacher at De Diego Community Academy. “It’s just basically been a totally lawless few months.”

Teachers at the school say they have not been given resources to work with a revised Student Code of Conduct implemented this year by Chicago Public Schools. The goal of the revisions is to replace punishments that keep students out of classrooms with alternatives that encourage improved behavior.

But De Diego teachers said the school lacks a dedicated “peace room” where students can cool off if they’ve been removed from a class. They say the school does not have a behavioral specialist on staff to intervene with students, nor does it have resources to train teachers on discipline practices that address a student’s underlying needs.

Why is a “peace room” ineffective as part of the student discipline code process?

A peace room is paramount to in-school suspension. In-school suspensions allow students to remain in schools with the potential of continued engagement. Suspending students from schools denies teachable moments such as connecting with student to build relationships and communicate that school is a good place for them. However, in school suspension can be parallel to holding a child in jail cell. Most in-school suspension programs are not conducive to learning and under staffed which inhibits that child’s learning instead of enhancing their learning.

Why is the student discipline code ineffective with unruly students?

The major complaint that the De Diego teachers voiced is that the new student discipline code does not empower the staff to effectively deal with unruly students. Students either become unruly because of what is going on inside the classroom or outside of the classroom. Teachers can command and dictate what happens in the classroom.

Many of the students have a high level of distrust for teachers due to their past experiences. We find this evident in the statistics that reveal that Black students are over disciplined by teachers. For example, according to the United States Office of Civil Rights, the process for over disciplining Black students begins in preschool. Black preschool children represent 18% of enrollment, but 48% of preschool children receiving more than one out-of school suspension. While White preschool children represent 43% of enrollment but only 26% of the children receiving more than one out of school suspension.

This pattern continues as a result of student discipline codes. Black students are suspended and expelled at a rate three times greater than White students. On average, 5% of White students are suspended, compared to 16% of Black students.

This pattern of student discipline codes has created the school to prison pipeline for which continues to devastate not only the Black community but the United States in the area of the income inequality gap.

The term “school-to-prison pipeline” is a phrase that is used by education reform activists and organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Justice Policy Center, Advancement Project, and the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) to describe what they view as a widespread pattern in the United States of pushing students, especially those who are already at a disadvantage, out of school and into the American criminal justice system. They argue that this “pipeline” is the result of public institutions being neglectful or derelict in properly addressing students as individuals who might need extra educational or social assistance, or being unable to do so because of staffing shortages or statutory mandates. The resulting miseducation and mass incarceration are said to create a vicious circle for individuals and communities.

The school-to-prison pipeline operates at all levels of US government (federal, state, county, city and school district) both directly as a result of zero tolerance policies, and indirectly due to exclusion from the school system. 

The Chicago Public School teachers will have to respond to unruly students differently. On way to change that response is to transform the perception that the unruly students have regarding your intentions. Teachers can accomplish this by promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships which will eventually render any teacher anxiety regarding the new student discipline code ineffective.

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


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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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