In a recent article, author Colin Flaherty claims that Black students engage in discrimination by targeting White teachers for teacher student fights. The article cites several incidents in which a Black student has attacked a White school staff member. The article is one sided and offers little as a solution to the alleged targeting of teacher student fights of White teachers by Black students.
According to the author, the recent incidents in which Black students have engaged in discrimination against White teachers are as follows:
- In Monroe, Louisiana. Facebook videographer “Tanglewood Hard Hitta” transports us into the middle of a few dozen black teenage girls fighting and screaming. Teacher’s aide David Payne was trying to break it up when Ryan Marquez Gix took a running start at Payne, all the while slipping into a set of brass knuckles. Then from behind, he bashed Payne in the face. Payne never saw it coming. He woke up in the hospital, lucky to be alive, with his skull fractured in three places and bleeding on the brain.
- Over in Yonkers, a ninth-grade black student attacked a white teacher, on video. The substitute teacher did not get a skull fracture, but he is pressing charges.
- A Buffalo teacher is recovering from a concussion after being assaulted by a student Tuesday at Highgate Heights Elementary School. The student has been suspended. The teacher was in a hallway heading back to her classroom when she encountered the student, Buffalo Teachers Federation President Philip Rumore said. When the teacher asked the student what she was doing in the hall, the student forced the teacher to the floor, kicked her in the face and chest and beat her with a book.
- An older white teacher, Kevin Coady, trying to break up a fight among black students. They did not like that, so they beat him instead.
- In Little Rock, “A 66-year-old woman who works as an assistant principal at a local middle school has been injured in a hallway beating by a student, according to police.” “The assistant principal was attacked after calling the suspect out into the hallway and trying to keep the two girls apart.” “The student punched the assistant principal in the facial region for about 20 seconds. The injured woman was taken to the hospital after telling police she had head and neck pain and difficulty walking.”
- In Baltimore, for example, one of the largest black school districts in the country, ABC News says: Out of 2,998 teachers surveyed, 80 percent had been victimized in the workplace. In the city of Baltimore alone, school employees filed more than 300 injury claims related to student assaults in 2013. “In Baltimore, four teachers are assaulted every day.”
The bitterness that Black students exhibit towards White teachers in the form of targeting White teachers for teacher student fights begins in preschool. According to a United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights report, Black preschool students represent 18% of the enrollment, but 48% of children receiving more than one out-of school suspension. Comparatively, White preschool students represent 43% of preschool enrollment but 26% of students receiving more than one out of school suspension.
One major problem between primary school teachers and their students is that primary school teachers often yell at the students as part of the classroom management process.
A recent article reported that fourth grade students conspired to kill their teacher because she yelled at them. In the same incident, One student stated that her teacher “yells at us and that the class has problems with her.”
School districts have responded to the alleged Black students aggressions by increasing the quantity of disciplinary consequences for Black students. We know this because Black students are suspended and expelled at a rate three times greater than White students. On average, 5% of White students are suspended, compared to 16% of Black students. To support their zero-tolerance polices, school officials have infused the services of security to include the local police officers. This continued support of racism in education has resulted in Black students representing 27% of the students referred to law enforcement while accounting for only 16% of the student enrollment and 31% are subjected to a school-related arrest. Comparatively, White students represent 51% of enrollment, but only 41% are referred to law enforcement, and 39% of those arrested.
Another major problem of how White teachers contribute to Black students targeting White teachers for teacher student fights is their refusal to accept the Black student culture.
White teachers continue to reject both nonverbal and verbal tendencies of Black students and continue to perpetuate a tradition of classroom racism (Pertcrism). The eventual Black student response is to target them for teacher student fights due to classroom racism (Cloomism). The only way to successfully eliminate classroom racism is to promote positive racial teacher student classroom relationships (Properateasclaships).
Once White teachers make the decision to promote positive racial teacher student classroom relationships (Properateasclaships) they can expect for Black students to refrain from targeting them for teacher student fights.
Fight between Gorton H.S. student, teacher probed
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012
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Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships
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