In a recent Wall Street Journal article, the United States Justice Department has entered a lawsuit against the Ferguson Police Department. The lawsuit has surfaced almost 18 months after the Michael Brown shooting. The Ferguson Police Department should eliminate racism in the classroom to ensure that community members possess the skills necessary to establish wealth that will to contribute to the needs of the Ferguson community.
According to the article, Justice Department Sues Ferguson Over Policing, Ferguson’s mayor and city council unanimously agreed to a approve a more than 100 page agreement with several amendments. They decided that the city will not raise police salaries in order to attract more minority officers. In addition, this agreement will not apply if another government agency takes over city services such as policing.
Ferguson city officials estimated the proposed agreement could cost the city as much as $3.7 million to implement in the first year. This is an estimated 25% of their present $14.5 million budget which has been allocated for general fund expenditures in the current fiscal year.
Ferguson city officials must realize that the primary cause for such a short fall is associated with classroom racism. Instead of depending on policing strategies to generate additional funding from residents it is more conducive to position Ferguson residents to have an increase in wealth opportunities.
The wealth opportunity ladder for Whites and Blacks begins with education. However, in Ferguson Missouri, like many other school districts, public education has turned into a vehicle absent of providing a platform for wealth by subjecting historically undeserved children to such tragedies as the school-to-prison pipeline.
How does classroom racism contribute to the financial ills of the Ferguson Police Department?
When Blacks students attain an education that allows them to get well paying jobs and participate in capitalism via entrepreneurship the impending result is a greater financial contribution which ultimately which though taxes will contribute to the present financial ills of the Ferguson Police Department.
The discrimination challenge is not unique to Ferguson Public Schools. Discrimination against marginalized students is a persistent problem in classrooms throughout the United States. For decades, race has long been acknowledged as a major contributor to negative effects that the teaching process and classroom requirements have on historically underserved students. Classroom interaction studies have found teachers discriminate against students who are not White, male, and middle class. White teachers create classroom problems when they interpret culture as a limitation to student progress.
When cultural awareness between White teachers and Black students is absent, the impending result is interference with effective instructional processes caused by frustration and alienation between White teachers and Black students. Black students have difficulty accepting teachers as the primary source of knowledge due to becoming accustomed to sharing information on an equal basis with adults rather than the adult teaching them. Teachers treat Black high school students as though they are incapable decision makers that require their permission to do everything even though the student has had experience caring for younger brothers and sisters, teaching them safety and personal hygiene skills, and taking care of the home. Black students withdraw from the instructional process or become discontented with whatever the teacher does when the teacher hinders student spontaneity and enthusiasm and punishes the student by requiring the student to raise his or her hand in order to be recognized.
Teachers continue the discrimination process by implementing differential discipline. Teachers with high percentages of Black students in their classroom are more likely to use an authoritarian classroom management approach. Teachers react to Black student learning experiences that are in opposition to traditional public schools by determining Blacks are incapable of following simple rules and therefore make rules that they deem intolerable. They attempt to justify this process with the belief that Black students want to be disciplined so that they will have some order in their lives.
Black students can also contribute the financial ills of the Ferguson Police Department associated with classroom racism through testing the limitations in an inconsistent classroom by ignoring a teacher’s first, second, and even third request for compliance. When the teacher decides to deliver a consequence, the student claims the teacher is unfair because the same misbehavior does not always receive the same consequence.
White teachers have the right assumption in believing that many Black students are hostile, resent the authority they represent, quick to anger, and have chips on their shoulders. Black students react to arbitrary and autocratic White teacher disciplinary assertiveness by believing that a White man is still trying to tell him what to do. Most teachers respond to students who attempt to act tough with them by threatening or talking back to the student.
Removing hostile Black students from the classroom only delays the inevitable confrontation between the teacher and the student. Whites attempt to minimize confrontations and struggles with Blacks in the persuasive process that they interpret as divisive while Blacks believe these struggles unify because they care enough to struggle for something. American societal beliefs that posit Blacks as inferior to European-descent Americans result in Blacks’ preoccupation and group focus on the concepts of freedom and equality. Blacks value group unity and focus on justice and fairness.
The Ferguson Police Department should redirect the energy that both White teachers and Black students expend by utilizing the Reaccelerate Racism System and promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships.
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D. www.positiveracialrelationships.com PO Box 4707 Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology
“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