How can schools eliminate gang violence?

In a recent article, Cleveland Public Schools have responded to gang violence threats by enhancing the presence of local police at the John Adams High School. John Adams High School must have a reputation for violence, otherwise the school officials and local police would have responded differently. Cleveland Public Schools can eliminate gang violence by eliminating the source of the human capital needed for gangs.

According to the article, Threats of gang violence lead to increased police presence at John Adams High School, the Cleveland local police officers increased their presence inside and outside the school. They were present during dismissal time for students and detained several students without incident. Apparently, gang violence impacts our schools and our country.

How does gang violence impact schools?

A recent study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse reported that 45 percent of high school students believe that there are either gangs or gang members in their school. However, the National Association of Social Workers reports a contradiction. According to the association, only 5% of principals report either gang activity in their school.

The disparity between students and school officials may result from the differences in definition of a gang. The definition that school officials use for gangs is consistent with federal entities. According to the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement, gangs include an association of three or more individuals or members who collectively identify themselves by adopting a group identity for which they use to create an atmosphere of fear or intimidation.

Students could believe that gangs are more prevalent because bullying is associated with creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. Students may feel that the only way to protect themselves in school is to join with a group of other students who will make them feel safe.

What are some of the reasons that students may choose to join a gang which normally results in gang violence?

The Los Angeles Police Department reports five primary reasons for joining gangs includes:

  1. Identity or Recognition – Being part of a gang allows the gang member to achieve a level of status he/she feels impossible outside the gang culture.
  2. Protection – many members join because they live in the gang area and are, therefore, subject to violence by rival gangs. Joining guarantees support in case of attack and retaliation for transgressions.
  3. Fellowship and Brotherhood – To the majority of gang members, the gang functions as an extension of the family and may provide companionship lacking in the gang member’s home environment. Many older brothers and relatives belong, or have belonged to the gang.
  4. Intimidation – Some members are forced to join if their membership will contribute to the gang’s criminal activity. Some join to intimidate others in the community not involved in gang activity.
  5. Criminal Activity – Some join a gang to engage in narcotics activity and benefit from the group’s profits and protection.

How can teachers help to avoid gang violence?

The primary reason youth begin to consider entrance into a gang is either identification or recognition. Students who do not feel that they are connected to the school may feel isolated, unsafe, or lonely which will result in them joining a gang to feel involved, form friendships and therefore feel safe and secure.

Teachers can make students feel safe and secure by promoting positive teacher-student classroom relationships. Having positive and caring relationships in schools increases resilience and protects children from academic failure, mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, and destructive behavior and violence. The added benefits include teachers who develop positive and personal relationships with students may prevent psychological development problems in their students.

Teachers can also exhibit behaviors that will eventually drive students towards possible gang violence. For example, 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:

  1. Assuming how a student responds, thinks, and feels
  2. Not allowing students to discover their own explanations and solutions
  3. Bossing or telling a student what needs to be done and how it should be done
  4. Criticizing students by pointing out what the students did not do right
  5. Pointing out to students that they should behave, think, and feel as adults

Without promoting positive teacher-student classroom relationships, students become the human capital necessary for gang violence. Teachers can help to eliminate the need for students participating in a gang which will eventually lead to gang violence by promoting positive teacher-student classroom relationships.

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

 

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

doctor_derrick1          Racism Book

“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.
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