How can Vernon Hill Schools eliminate Black parent opposition to racial allegations?

Desmond Clark

In a recent article, former Chicago Bears football player Desmond Clark claims that Vernon Hills High School has a racist school culture. Schools that are dragged into the racism spotlight have a propensity to discredit Black parents instead of working with them to develop solutions that enhance the school experience for all students. Vernon Hills High School administrators may have made a grievous error by making a spectacle of former Chicago Bears football player Desmond Clark.

According to the article, Former Bears player Desmond Clark: Vernon Hills school has ‘racist culture’, Desmond Clark has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. Clark said that a series of racially charged incidents against his family which culminated in an argument in August at Vernon Hills High School resulted in charges being filed against the retired tight end and his wife – Maria Clark.

The racial challenge that Vernon Hill Schools administrators have perpetrated is associated with the school-to-prison pipeline. The have provided this evidence by how they have treated Desmond Clark.

Desmond Clark contribution to the Vernon Hills School racism incident should not be minimized. However, trained educators should know how to better interact with angry parents.

The incident could have been minimized if staff members refrained from using sarcasm. Clark’s son and other students disagreed with a decision that a female administrator made regarding a student-centered activity. Clark’s son responded to an administrative decision by stating “Why am I being treated like a criminal?’ ” The administrator responded “If you want to be a criminal, if you want to act like a criminal then just get out of the gym.” She exhibited her power over the student by kicking him out of the gym after calling him a criminal. Afterwards, the student called his parents.

The administrators response is problematic on two fronts. The sarcasm that the administrator used is damaging to develop positive relationships with students. Children believe sarcastic messages are negative. Educators should know that sarcasm may psychologically damage children. Even though sarcasm and ridicule may serve a corrective function in the eyes of the educator, the long-term consequence of diminished esteem in the eyes of students may make the immediate gains in terms of behavioral correction not worth the costs.

Instead of using sarcasm the administrator should have used praise. Administrators and teachers should use praise to engage students in the learning process. Verbal encouragement by teachers increases student participation and desired behavior. Praise is an effective reinforcement that provides encouragement to students and is a reinforcement for behavior performance improvement. Praise is an effective reinforcement that helps to build student self-esteem.

The response by the administrator will have an impact on Black and Hispanic student perceptions. In a school that has approximately 60 percent white, 20 percent Asian, 15 percent Hispanic and 2.5 percent black, Vernon Hills School administrators have demonstrated that any opposition from Black parents will result in intervention from the local police. Henceforth, they have demonstrated a trend where any opposition from Black students will result in severe punishment for the Black student and promote participation in the school-to-prison pipeline.

Distrust between schools and Blacks results from hostile treatment of Blacks and discrimination in schools. Blacks learn at an early age to be wary of people and systems in their environment. Black students who develop oppositional social identities that involve developing distrust for Whites and dislikes for behaviors associated with being White may resist academic achievement because it is associated with the White culture.

The Vernon Hills School administration has responded by holding several round table discussions on race. Information only will not transform the Vernon Hills Schools. It is the same tactic that other schools have unsuccessfully utilized.

Instead of Vernon Hills School administration focusing on the information format, they should end each meeting with a resolution that all parties can agree on. Once you agree on several resolutions, then have the parents help to outline the steps needed to accomplish those resolutions. Sadly, for the Vernon Hills School administration they may have made a life long adversary of the Black parent Desmond Clark.

Related Articles

Niles North boys track trip creates dialogue about race, religion

Ex-Bear Desmond Clark pleads guilty to disorderly conduct, avoids jail

Former Bear arrested, alleges racism in Vernon Hills

 

Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.

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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 Discrimination, institutional Racism, Leadership, Race Relations, Race Relations in America, racial discrimination, Racial Profiling, Racism, Racism in Education, School Discipline, Structural Racism, Tips for Teachers, Violence in Schools and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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