In a recent article, an author links Oklahoma City Public School violence between teachers and students to the home life of students. The violence is much more complicated that many can expect. Oklahoma City Public School teachers can eliminate classroom violence by establishing positive racial teacher student classroom relationships.

According to the article, School Violence begins at home, the author believes that engaging parents in the disciple process will eliminate Oklahoma City Public School violence between teachers and students. The author specifically states that “the people who raise children to be violent and disrespectful should be held accountable for these actions. Parents who don’t control their children and teach them to respect others are the problem here. This is not for teachers to do.” Not only must Oklahoma City Public Schools consider that biases that youth bring to the classroom, but they must also take into consideration how schools and teachers can contribute to violence in the classroom.

In what ways can Oklahoma City Public School teachers contribute to violence in the classroom?

Teachers discriminate against students by stereotyping according to ethnicity. Research reveals that teachers form negative, inaccurate, and inflexible expectations based on such attributes as the race and social status. White teachers may have difficulty in understanding minorities due to the teachers’ rejection of the students’ lifestyles. Schools have a bias against students who do not share the same characteristics as White, female, middle-class teachers.

Teachers are more likely to have negative academic and behavioral expectations regarding Black students 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. High prejudiced White teachers are less pleased with Black students when compared to low prejudiced White teachers.

Additionally, European American teachers favor other students rather than Black students. European Americans have favorable attitudes toward Mexican Americans when compared to Blacks and are more likely to accept Mexican Americans when compared to Blacks due to Mexican Americans having a closer skin color to European Americans.

In what ways can Oklahoma City Public School racial differences contribute to violence in the classroom?

Teacher-student conflicts result from a difference in desires, and even though this difference may be reduced, it remains in schools. Individual’s cultural background affects attitudes, beliefs, and values regarding education as well as ideas about how classes should to be conducted, how students and teachers should interact, and the types of relationships that are appropriate for students and teachers. The classroom conflict between teachers and students results from the different cultural contexts that students and teachers bring to the classroom.

Some minority students believe they cannot trust White institutions such as schools. Many adolescents develop oppositional social identities that are contrary to the social expectations of mainstream society when they experience racism and they in turn 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.

Cultural racism results from the dominant or more powerful group defining cultural values and value characteristics. Since Anti-Black prejudice in America has historical roots in slavery, carpet bagging, and the failure to reconstruct the South after the Civil War, Oklahoma City Public School teachers can only overcome violence in the classroom by promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships.

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Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D. www.positiveracialrelationships.com PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012

 

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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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