How should Youngstown school superintendent respond to high suspension rates?


In a recent article, the Youngstown school superintendent and city officials have responded to high school suspension rates with unwanted results. The strategies put in place have only redirected the student behavior. The Youngstown school superintendent will have to transform the gap between student perceptions and teacher intentions to minimize the disobedience and disruptive student behavior.

According to the article, the school superintendent and city school officials have tried counseling, grade reconfiguration and training, but high discipline and suspension rates continue, exceeding those of the state and comparison districts.

Youngstown schools’ discipline categories “continue to trend upward, resulting in higher 2013-14 rates than comparison school districts,” a January report from the Ohio Department of Education said.

“We have more in-school suspension and we try to counsel kids,” Superintendent Connie Hathorn said.

The district has employed D&E Counseling, used Quaglia Institute for Student Aspirations and provided teacher training in attempts to address the problem.

Even peer mediation, which was used by the district a number of years ago and stopped when grant funding expired, didn’t improve suspension percentages, the deputy superintendent said.

The school superintendent can minimize disobedient and disruptive behavior by transforming the gap between student perceptions and teacher intentions.

Student Perceptions

The student’s perceptions began with marginalizing their parent and ancestors into society by slavery, conquest, and colonization. Due to this process, students believe school is detrimental to their identity. Indians, Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Blacks share the same historical experience of having been brought into the United States society against their will and then relegated to inferior status. Blacks, Mexicans, and Puerto Ricans are caste-like immigrants who were involuntarily incorporated into the United States. Involuntary minorities such as Blacks are not willing to perform well in school due to difficulty with crossing cultural lines which is a major reason that previous attempts at education reform continue with little or no success. Since slavery, Blacks have learned that the way to get ahead is not through merit and talent but through white assistance. Americans of color have had to adapt to an American society that does not value their ethnicity, history, heritage, or language.

Black parents prepare their children to live in a dual cultural world that involves helping them to develop skills for adult roles such as wage earners and parenthood in addition to negotiating a dominant society that has different cultural values and judges’ people by their skin color or ethnic background. Blacks who live in a society that dislikes them for the color of their skin ensure they do not become victims by approaching people with caution, wariness, and a sense of distrust.

Student perceptions and feelings regarding teachers and themselves influence student achievement. Students do better in school when they believe getting a good education will increase their chances for success. Students who perceive that teachers have favorable feelings toward them have higher achievement levels when teachers have positive views toward them. Children who have positive feelings regarding teachers have higher achievement levels.

Black and Latino urban high school students believe their underachievement results when they perceive racism and discrimination toward them. Black students believe school is a hostile place and teachers are agents of oppression. White teachers symbolize the racism Black parents and Black students have endured throughout their entire lives.

The historical problems for people of color create a cultural mismatch between students and the school which has resulted in academic failure for many students. The attempt to Americanize students involves attempting to culturally fix children who are supposedly flawed by altering their values and language.

Student academic achievement decreases when the difference between the student’s culture and the school culture increases and the classroom environment does not value the student’s home culture. When an educational cultural match is not possible, there must be at least respect and value of the culture that children bring with them. Many school superintendents and school officials have made grievous errors by blaming parents for the problems in school. When in fact, it is the parents who are products of the education system too.

The only way that a school superintendent can transform the gap between student perceptions and teacher intentions is to promote positive racial teacher student classroom relationships (Properateasclaships).

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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 Management Specialist

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, Teacher Training, Tips for Teachers and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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