How can teachers eliminate the race factor in school discipline?

In a recent article, an Indiana college professor provided local Pittsburg educators and residents with the alleged primary reasons that racism continues to contribute to school discipline. According to John Roberts, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” Educators can benefit from an evaluation of the differences in verbal and nonverbal behavior that provides the platform for developing trust which ultimately has an impact on the perceived fairness related to school discipline.

According to the article, Expert: Race still a factor in school discipline, over 100 local students, teachers, administrators, and advocates gathered to hear Russell Skiba, a professor in the Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology at Indiana University Bloomington in Bloomington, Indiana to lecture about the reasons that racism continues to plague the American educational system.

According to Mr. Skiba, “We’ve been disabused of the notion that somehow we’d gotten past the issue of race in America and that we could be race-neutral in dealing with these issues in America”. He went on to say that “the history of race relations within the U.S. includes centuries of slavery and landmark cases that have a lasting psychological effect and help create hidden racism. All of this hangover of history sticks with us. It’s what we believed and have been taught for centuries and we can’t stop believing it overnight.”

Linda Lane, the Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent, reported that the historical context was the “biggest take-away” from the lecture. Lane believes that “It’s all a matter of having those conversations about race and not pretending that race doesn’t matter. We all know color blindness doesn’t work, and we as educators need to recognize our own implicit biases so we can address them.”

What is the beginning factor that leads to enforcing school discipline on the platform of racism?

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.

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 failure arises from the teachers’ inability to understand how the students communicate.

How should Pittsburg Schools plan to overcome racism that can lead to unnecessary school discipline?

The Pittsburg superintendent plans a follow-up “action plan meeting” to the lecture which was held in the Woodland Hills High School library. An action plan is a document that lists what steps must be taken in order to achieve a specific goal. The purpose of an action plan is to clarify what resources are required to reach the goal, formulate a timeline for when specific tasks need to be completed and determine what resources are required.

There are several problems with an action plan development if the correct steps are not followed. The first problem is that without the appropriate process the action plan is paramount to shoving a plan down the throat of those responsible for implementation. The second problem arises when teachers are provided an opportunity to exhibit characteristics associated with a dysfunctional organization. This will eventually thwart any efforts to eliminate school discipline associated with racism.

The Pittsburg superintendent should utilize the following steps to ensure the best process for eliminating school discipline that is associated with racism.

  1. Select the correct connectors in the school district and local community advocates (Limit group to 25 to 30 members)
  2. Retrieve the necessary information to ensure success for the transition
  3. Develop a shared vision (Normally a three session process)
  4. Develop the appropriate goals, objectives, timelines, and costs (Normally a four session process)

It will take approximately 11 sessions to ensure the most effective process and plan of action to eliminate school discipline associated with racism.

Related Articles

Race and Discipline in the South Carolina Schools

School discipline isn’t delivered evenly to black and white students. What can educators do?

Suspension falling out of favor as school discipline

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.
This entry was posted in Classroom Management, Discrimination, institutional Racism, Leadership, Police Community Relations, Positive Teacher Student Relationships, Race Relations, Race Relations in America, racial discrimination, Racial Profiling, Racism, Racism in America, Racism in Education, School Discipline, Structural Racism, Teacher Student Fights, Tips for Teachers and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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