How does racism in schools fuel high school violence?

In a recent article, an author argues that the lack of respect for authority has a correlation to high school violence. The lack of authority for many Black students begins with their entrance into school. High school violence is a product of classroom racism for which school security and police personnel are responsible for enforcing.

According to the article, High school violence shows lack of respect for authority, a student responded to school security personnel by attempting to ignite their bodies with gasoline. The female high school student carried a 2-liter bottle of gasoline with the intent of assaulting two school security personnel. The incident was a product of the student getting caught using a cellphone during classroom instruction. If we truly look to end high school violence we must begin by determining the root cause.

What is the root cause of a lack of respect for authority which can lead to high school violence?

The beginning point for the cause of a lack of respect for authority begins when Black students enter preschool. According to the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, Black children represent 18% of the students enrolled in preschool but represent 48% of the preschool children receiving more than one out of school suspension. While White students represent 43% percent of the students in preschool, but only 26% of the preschool children receiving more that one out of school suspension.

The battle for respect of authority begins in preschool for both the teachers and the Black students. The teacher is battling to maintain the power structure endowed by the school. The Black preschool student is battling for the respect from the teacher. This battle continues through high school. Since the teacher has the support mechanisms developed by the school which includes school security personnel, not only does the preschooler develop disrespect for the teacher but also for the enforcers which include administrators, police, and school security personnel.

What is the hidden battle between students and teachers that eventually becomes school violence?

The hidden battle between teachers and students that can eventually result in school violence is the conflict between the expectations of verbal and nonverbal behavior. Education is a communication process that is not limited to transmitting knowledge but also involves interpersonal communication behaviors and nonverbal behaviors that are the major aspects of interpersonal relationships, which are critical in all learning situations. The teaching-learning process is essentially a communication event that includes verbal and nonverbal communication. Teachers and students are verbal and nonverbal message senders and receivers. Developing respectful relationships with students requires considerable knowledge of their verbal and nonverbal communication styles which will result in a decrease of school violence.

Schools and Black student conflict develop from expectation differences related to communication styles. The general public fails to accept that Blacks have different communication norms and conventions by assuming that Blacks communicate using standards set by socially dominant Whites. Whites’ dispassionate and detached communication mode creates distrust among Blacks due to its similarity to Blacks who front which occurs when Blacks perceive there is a communication risk factor and chooses to remain silent in Black-White communication encounters. Most Black educational failures arises from the teachers’ inability to understand how the students communicate. Educators must become more aware of the specific verbal and nonverbal communication style that impacts the student’s ability and motivation to successfully engage in learning activities.

Educators must consider teacher and student cultural differences as well as differences in their verbal and nonverbal behavior. Teachers and students from different cultural backgrounds have historical and cultural perspectives that can create classroom clashes that result in nonproductive classroom environments where the students’ education suffers. If teachers are unable to understand and accept their cultural differences and student differences in verbal and nonverbal behavior, the result is not only a nonproductive classroom environment, it is also an environment entrenched with school violence.

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Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.

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Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology

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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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One Response to How does racism in schools fuel high school violence?

  1. Pingback: How can listening to students eliminate racism in schools? | Learning Flourishes in an Environment Free of Racism

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