How should Ferguson Public School teachers respond to recent police shooting?

In a recent incident, two Ferguson police officers were shoot by an unknown assailant which will have a direct impact on the Ferguson Public Schools. The officers were seriously injured but the injuries are not life threatening. Ferguson Public School teachers should use this opportunity to enhance the relationships with their students.

According to the Washington Post, the officers were shot at the end of a day that, hours earlier, had appeared to herald progress in Ferguson. Police Chief Thomas Jackson, whose force had been castigated by Justice Department investigators for unfairly targeting black residents, had agreed to step down. His departure had been a key demand of the protest movement that sprang up last summer, after a white Ferguson officer shot and killed an unarmed black 18-year-old, Michael Brown.

But after midnight, somebody opened fire from a hilltop, shooting out of the darkness over a small crowd of demonstrators and into a line of officers outside the Ferguson Police Department. Then the shooter disappeared.

This incident will have an impact on Ferguson Public Schools for a number of reasons. First, the incident will impact student relationships. Some students will side with the police and other students will side with the unknown assailant. As students voice their opinion it will cause friction between the students. This will cause fights in the Ferguson Public School which may begin in the classroom.

Secondly, there could be an increase in the number of bullying incidents. The result could be coined as racist bullying. Racist Bullying is treating someone differently, or an offensive action against a person simply because of their skin color, culture, religion, nationality or ethnic origin. Since the majority Ferguson Public School student population is Black, there is a high probability that Black students will bully the White students. It is the job of educators to eliminate bullying in schools which may make Black students resent White teachers.

Studies on bullying indicate that 15 to 25% of U.S. students are bullied frequently. What’s shocking is that both bullies and their targets suffer from the practice. Students who bully have a higher chance of dropping out of school, abusing substances and committing crimes than others. On the flipside, up to 160,000 targets of bullies skip school annually to avoid abuse.

Thirdly, it may impact the interactions between White teachers and Black students. Because the relationship between a teacher is power over in favor on the teacher, students may correlate the same power that the police have with the same power that the teacher possesses. This will cause confrontations between White teachers and Black students.

The parents of many of the Black students may agree with their children and deem the White Ferguson Public School teachers as racist just as the deem the Ferguson Police as racist. This will hamper the efforts of classroom management for the teacher. The opportunity that the Ferguson Public School teacher is that of a hero.

Ferguson Public School teachers should develop and implement the following lesson plan.

Develop an open-ended rubric that has a focus on writing, grammar, and presentation skills. The focus on the lesson is for students to recommend strategies for avoiding the consequences associate with the police shooting.

  1. Introduce the lesson plan in the following fashion: “I know that many of you have heard about the police shooting. As your teacher, I am here to protect your future.” School work that is relevant to present time or future time motivates Blacks while they prefer to focus on present time rather than future time and value people focus over time focus.
  2. Divide the students in groups of four. Divide the students into groups because Black and Hispanic students work better in a group. Blacks prefer to work in groups and socially interactive environments. Black students do well when the teacher incorporates a socialization learning model and will work together to benefit the entire group.
  3. Make the culminating activity a PowerPoint presentation. Black students excel at PowerPoint  presentations. Blacks do well on tasks that require auditory sensory involvement but have challenges when tasks require visual perception.

Most important for the Ferguson Public School teacher is not to voice your opinion of their thoughts on the police shooting. Positive teacher-student relationships include the absence of negative interactions. Negative criticism, embarrassment, and humiliation are the most frequent acts that damage teacher-student relationships. The barriers to developing positive relationships with students also include (a) assuming how a student responds, thinks, and feels, (b) not allowing students to discover their own explanations and solutions, (c) bossing or telling a student what needs to be done and how it should be done, (d) criticizing students by pointing out what the students did not do right, and (e) pointing out to students that they should behave, think, and feel as adults. Effective teaching techniques may lose some of their impact when positive teacher-student relationships are lacking.

Using the above described lesson format will enable Ferguson Public School teachers to continue to develop positive relationships with all students.

Related Articles

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Rudy Giuliani: Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson Should Be ‘Commended’ For Shooting Michael Brown

Here’s how President Obama responded to the shooting of two Ferguson police officers on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’


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

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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 Police Community Relations, Race Relations in America, Racial Profiling, Racism, Racism in Education, School Discipline, Structural Racism, Tips for Teachers and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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