How can urban school districts like Richmond Public Schools avoid racism allegations?

In a recent article, Richmond Public School students and local civic organizations seek relief that results from racism allegations. Leadership has faltered in not considering that the larger school district is a product of many small school cultures. Richmond Public School will need to utilize a process that takes into consideration the different cultures that control each individual school if they seek to avoid future allegations of racism.

According to the article, 2 students, NAACP file anti-discrimination complaint against Richmond Public Schools,  two Richmond Public School students and the Richmond National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have filed an anti-discrimination complaint against Richmond Public Schools with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights regarding the discipline policies that appear to disproportionally punish African American students.

According to the article, during the 2014-15 school year, African-American students with disabilities were 12.91 times more likely than White students without disabilities to be suspended on a short term basis. Additionally, for the 2014-15 school year, African-American students made up about 76 percent of the total student population in Richmond Publ9ic Schools and accounted for 93 percent of short-term suspensions, 98 percent of long-term suspensions, and 97 percent of expulsions. African-American students were 5.69 times more likely to be suspended when compare to White students for short-term suspensions.

The Richmond Public School administration has responded by claiming that they are “working diligently to ensure that all disciplinary actions are fair and consistent. The Student Code of Responsible Ethics (SCORE) Handbook was revised to move away from zero tolerance based discipline. As part of these guidelines, faculty and staff consider factors such as the nature/seriousness of the violation, the student’s age, the student’s previous disciplinary record, and any other relevant circumstances when determining the most appropriate disciplinary interventions/consequences. A tiered model of intervention was implemented to clearly define which disciplinary action can be taken based upon grade level and behavior.”

The civil rights lawsuit and the direction of the Richmond Public Schools is problematic in that it has not successfully enhanced the behaviors of the students resulting in the disproportional suspension for African American students. Therefore, this is not a challenge with policies, student code of ethics, guidelines, student backgrounds, or altering the consequences for violation of infractions. It appears to be a challenge that is more related to the relationships between teachers and students. Since the majority of the teachers are White and the disproportionate number of students that are disciplined are African American, it has to be a challenge between the White teachers and Black students.

Racial differences between teachers and students influence positive teacher-student classroom relationship development. Teacher-student conflicts result from a difference in desires, and even though this difference may be reduced, it remains in schools. The Richmond Public School administration will need to develop positive classroom relationships between White teachers and African American students.

How will positive relationships between teachers and African American students impact Richmond Public Schools?

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.

Developing positive relationships with students provides benefits for schools, teachers, and students. 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. Teachers who develop positive and personal relationships with students may prevent psychological development problems in their students. Students are more willing to develop positive relationships with teachers who tend to form close friendships with their students. Richmond Public Schools will benefit from the process that promotes positive racial teacher student classroom relationships (Properateasclaships).

Related Articles

Virginia School District Disproportionately Punishes Black Students, Complaint Says

Civil rights complaint challenges discrimination Richmond Public Schools

Black Students in Virginia School District receive nearly 100% of expulsions and long-term suspensions: complaint

All the best,

Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
www.positiveracialrelationships.com
PO Box 4707 Cherry Hill, NJ 08034

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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 Leadership, Race Relations, racial discrimination, Racial Profiling, Racism, Racism in America, Racism in Education, School Discipline, Structural Racism and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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