How should teachers respond to a racist remark from the school principal?

In a recent article, a Californian middle school has placed a school principal on administrative leave for making a racist remark. The school principal was video taped making a statement about Black students in the school. Teachers must respond by ensuring that a racist remark made by a school principal does not interfere with the instructional or disciplinary process in their classroom.

The racist remark incident became a national video on YouTube. In the video, DiFilippo, who looks relaxed and is wearing dark sunglasses, is chatting with some students while one of them records the conversation (it’s unclear whether the vice principal knows if he’s being recorded or not). A student off camera asks him, “Who at this school do you not like?” while another asks, “All of us?” That’s when DiFilippo responds, “I just don’t like the black kids.” The incident is presently under investigation and the school principal has been place on administrative leave.

Black students responded by protesting because they believed that they were targeted by school principal when it came to discipline. According to the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights report, Blacks are targeted for higher levels of discipline consequences when compared to White students. Therefore, the Black students should be concerned. This heightened concern due to the racist remark will find its way into the teachers classroom in several forms.

Student Fights

Some students will agree with the racist remark. They will feel that many of the problems that are keeping them from learning is a result of having Black students in the school. They will ascertain that many of the discipline problems between the teacher and the Black students interfere with learning in the classroom. On the other hand, some students will disagree with the racist remark. They will feel that they have been unfairly bullied by the school principal and teachers. When these differences in opinion are voiced by the opposing students the pending result is a clash between the students which can result in increased student fights.

Teacher Student Difficulties

Many of the Black students will associate the same power that the school principal possess with the teachers. They will see the teacher as the source of the problem because many of the referrals that are submitted to the school principal begin with the classroom teacher. This will increase the conflicts between teachers and Black students which will result in increased disciplinary consequences for Black students.

Teacher Parent Difficulties

Black students will convey to their parents that since the school principal made a racist remark then the teachers must be racist too. When teachers make a decision to submit disciplinary referrals it will be met with opposition from the parents. When Black students are not performing will in the teachers classroom the parent is apt to associate the racist remark with the teacher as a racist.

Academic Achievement

As the students continue to react to the racist remark they will continue to make it more important to ensure that teachers are not racist against them. This will detract from their learning and decrease their likelihood of doing well on standardized testing. They may decide not to do well so that it becomes an embarrassment not only for the teacher but for the school too.

Civil Rights Lawsuit

Now that the school has national attention, the school could possibly undergo an investigation for civil rights violations. Black parents and local civil rights activist may assume that the entire school is racist against Black students because they hired the individual who made the racist remark.

The best way to respond to the racial remark by the school principal is:

  1. Use the Raccelerate Racism Formula to determine if you could become victimized by civil rights complaint
  2. The first time that a student acts out after the racial remark discuss in front of the class the expectations for classroom behavior. When you make it a classroom discussion you are also setting the expectations for the entire class. Next, contact the students parent. While you want to talk about the discipline emphasize how the disruptive behavior will impact their grade in the class
  3. The second time, have the discussion of classroom expectations in front of the class and ask the student do you want to talk to the counselor or the school principal. Then tell the student that you will send the student to the counselor. Contact the parent.
  4. The third time, have the discussion of classroom expectations in front of the class and send the student to the school principal. Contact the parent

This process will ensure that the discipline in you classroom does not accelerate due to the racist remark as well as reestablishing a fair process for discipline in your classroom.

Related Articles

Egged neighbor sues Justin Bieber, alleges racist remark by bodyguard

Claim of racist remark against California school official

Teacher’s Alleged Racist Remarks Prompt Suit Against L.A. Schools

Lawsuit Alleges Nice California Teacher Taught Students About Racism, By Being Racist


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


Get Email Updates
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

Profile Picture 250 by 250


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 Classroom Management, Race Relations, Race Relations in America, Racial Profiling, Racism, Racism in Education, School Discipline, Teacher Student Fights, The Raccelerate Formula, The Raccelerate Phenomenon, Tips for Teachers and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to How should teachers respond to a racist remark from the school principal?

  1. Pingback: Will the removal of Boston Latin School headmaster eliminate racism at the school? | Learning Flourishes in an Environment Free of Racism

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s