In a recent article, a local Baltimore police officer has been found not guilty for any misdoings regarding the Freddy Gray incident. Many security officers, administrators, and teachers could become the recipient of aggressions from students and outsiders. Baltimore Public Schools will need to prepare for an aftermath that could have repercussions for years to come by ensuring that teachers become part of the process that helps students to overcome the negative associations regarding the Freddie Gray incident
According to the article, Freddie Gray verdict: Officer Edward Nero not guilty, a Baltimore police officer, Edward Nero, has been found not guilty of charges associated with the Freddie Gray incident. Nero, is one of six Baltimore police officers charged in the Freddie Gray case. He was accused of second-degree intentional assault, two counts of misconduct in office, and reckless endangerment for not putting a seat belt on Gray when he put the prisoner in a police van. Freddie Gray died from spinal injuries after being shackled without a seat belt in the van.
Since Freddie Gray is a product of the Baltimore community, school officials have warned that students who participate in protest regarding the recent Freddie Gray incident will face consequences. According to Baltimore City School chief executive Gregory E. Thornton, “Students need to understand that we support their right to express their emotions, and that we will facilitate opportunities for them to do so appropriately”. Additionally he wrote in a letter addressed to parents, families and community members. “However, we need to make it clear that student walkouts, vandalism, civil disorder, and any form of violence are not acceptable under any circumstances and that students who participate in such behaviors will face consequences.”
The problem with the statement by Thornton is that the majority of the students feel that the have no other alternative to get justice in their lives. They are in schools where they feel that administrators and teachers are not able to help with their plight. As a result of the Freddie Gray incident they are reluctant to turn to the police. The only alternative that many of them may have is to turn to gangs. Gangs will embrace their troubles and become family to many of the youth in the Baltimore City Schools who are now completely frustrated with the systematic racism against Blacks.
If the students have no where else to turn then the only opportunity that is provided to them is the same activities that Baltimore City School chief executive Gregory E. Thornton has warned against. Baltimore City Public Schools must offer different alternatives that must begin in the classroom.
Students do better in school when they believe getting a good education will increase their chances for success. Enhancing their chances for success begins with success in the classroom.
Positive relationships at schools and in the classroom are in many ways the prerequisites for effective learning and behavior. Students and teachers who are warm, compassionate, and friendly toward one another in the classroom have the potential to improve instruction and learning. 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.
Teachers who have positive feelings toward their students are more likely to have students reciprocate those positive feelings. Black students believe their academic achievement increases when they have positive relationships with teachers. Black students also believe that increases in positive feelings affect academic achievement when teachers become responsive to the students’ personal lives. Conversely, Black students believe that their poor academic performance results from teachers who lack concern for them and engage in negative gossip regarding students.
Since the students have been warned about the consequences of their potential negative behavior the stage has been set. Many students will work hard to maintain their cool which is one of the primary signals of a division between the students and the Baltimore City School district. Students who are working to maintain their cool due to the Freddie Gray incident will eventually resort to troubling behaviors if we don’t empower teachers to help them.
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
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 Raccelerate Racism Phenomenon
The Treasures of Hidden Racism in Education
“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