In a recent article, school violence has become a primary concern for Delaware Public Schools. This is also a national concern because not only students but many teachers become victims of assaults by students. Reducing school violence in Delaware Public Schools will require transforming the perceptions that students and teachers posses.
In a recent article, Delaware seeks solution to school violence, Senator Robert Marshall has authored legislation which funds the formation of a committee to develop strategies to minimize school violence. This committee was formed after the recent killings of 16-year-old Amy Inita Joyner Francis and 15-year old Brandon Wingo. Senator Marshall hopes that “… the Markell administration can look at our recommendations, the incoming governor in January to look at those recommendations and if some have a policy change that’s significant or a dollar amount that can be considered as we move forward.”
Amy Inita Joyner-Francis was allegedly victimized by three girls at the Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington, Delaware. An autopsy revealed that Joyner-Francis died from a ‘cardiac incident’ that stemmed from a pre-existing heart condition. According to the Department of Justice, the cardiac incident would not have occurred if Joyner had not been assaulted.
Brandon Wingo was allegedly victimized by three youth with alleged gang affiliations. Wingo was coming home from Howard High School of Technology when a man wearing a winter coat approached him along Clifford Brown Walk and shot him three times. Marcos Velez, a commander in the Wilmington Guardian Angels, a volunteer group that walks the streets in an effort to reduce crime, believes that the youth could have been associated with a new gang.
Prosecutors would not say that Wingo was involved in a gang. However, a search through Family Court records revealed that Wingo had been charged with several crimes. Wingo was charged last year with second-degree attempted robbery, second-degree conspiracy and third-degree assault when he and two others shoved a 53-year-old man off his bike, then kicked and punched him while trying to take his bicycle and wallet. The charges were dropped when the victim failed to appear in court on Aug. 25. Furthermore, Wingo was charged with motor vehicle theft and receiving stolen property in connection with the April 10 theft of a 2013 Volkswagen Beetle convertible.
If Senator Robert Marshall is concerned with school violence in Delaware Public Schools then he and his committee must address the violence exacted on teachers and school personnel too. Violence against teachers is a national crisis. The issue is usually ignored or underreported by the media. It is given inadequate attention by educators and the community for which they are responsible for serving. According to the United States Department of Education 20% of public school teachers reported being verbally abused, 10% reported being physically threatened, and 5% reported being physically attacked in schools.
What student perceptions can contribute to school violence?
Some minority students believe they cannot trust White institutions. These youth may develop oppositional social identities that are contrary to the social expectations of mainstream society when they experience racism and respond with anger and rebellion. Black students are convinced that White teachers are racist and prejudiced and reject White teachers’ authority due to their experience with racism.
Black students frequently find themselves in classrooms where their culture, racial, and linguistic identities are under constant attack that manifests as a multitude of disciplinary actions, suspensions, and expulsions. Minority students are more likely to encounter teacher behavior that impedes their progress when compared to White students.
Black students do better in school when they believe getting a good education will increase their chances for success. Students who perceive that teachers have favorable feelings toward them have higher achievement levels when teachers have positive views toward them. Youth who have positive feelings regarding teachers have higher achievement levels.
What teacher perceptions can contribute to school violence?
Many teachers are more likely to have negative academic and behavioral expectations regarding Black students when compared to expectations of White students. White teachers have more negative attitudes toward Black children and rate Black students more negatively when compared to White students. White teachers rate Black male children more deviant when compared to White children. White teachers direct more criticism toward Black males and rate Black male children personalities more negatively when compared to White male children. White teachers perceive White students more positively when compared to Black students.
Both teachers and students have perceptions that can contribute to school violence. School violence against teachers can be reduced by promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships (Properateasclaships).
What’s behind the rise in assaults on teachers?
All the best,
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 4707 Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
“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