Teachers: How to Talk to Black Students About the Vonderrick Myers Shooting

While the fatal death of any teenager, such as Vonderrick Myers, is a tragedy, many Black students will return to school either doubtful about or angry with their teachers. Students will be doubtful because they may not longer trust in the American system. As they realize that the Black male may be a target of American society, they will respond negatively. The angry students will feel that their is no justice in America for Black children and believe the entire country is racist.

A recent study, Deadly Force in Black and White, revealed that Black male teenagers are 21 times more likely to be shot and killed by police than white males. Between 2010 and 2012, there were 1,217 deadly police shootings reported to the FBI. Black males between the ages of 15 and 19 were killed at a rate of 31.17 per million. White male teenagers between that ages of 15 and 19 were killed at a rate of 1.47 deaths per million.

Since the media has reported many of the shootings, Black students may feel that the Vonderrick Myers death is unjustified like the others. Other students will take the side of the police. This clash of opinions is going to result in fights and bullying between the students. The students who feel that the teenagers death is unjustified will believe that their bullying is justified.

Parents who believe that the shooting is unjustified will exhibit little faith in the school that they attend. They will not encourage their child to do well in your school which will ultimately impact standardized test scores. Parents who believe that the shooting is justified will convey that message that school is important and their child will feel comfortable with voicing their opposing opinion.

White teachers who desire to reduce racial tensions in their classroom must remove themselves from an object of perceived oppression to individuals who care about the health and well being of their students. Many Black students will view their teachers in the same way that they view White cops. The Black students will become objectionable and if there are enough Black students who believe the teacher and school is racist against Black students, it will completely disruption the culture for the school.

Schools impacted by teenage shooting such as Vonderrick Myers, will find a reduction in standardized achievement and increase student disciplinary consequences for years to come. It will look as though the teachers are ineffective resulting in additional efforts to blame teachers for ineffective instruction. At that point it does not matter what the teacher does, because of the classroom racial tension, the education of many children will be lost.

In regards to disciplinary infractions, Black students will believe that the reporting of disciplinary challenges to administration is the equivalent of the White teachers as a snitch. In the Black and Hispanic community, a snitch is one of the lowest forms of life.

When we lose the educational effectiveness for a cohort of students, whether they are Black or not, we create an income inequality gap which has been deemed as detrimental to the future economy of the United States.

Educators must understand that it looks like it a no win for the Black community for many blacks. Many Black children will come into the classroom with racist attitudes that is going to fuel the already unintentional racial tension between White teachers and Black students. The unfortunate death of Vonderrick Myers provides an opportunity for White teachers to bridge the racial gap between them and Black Students.

Teachers will begin this process by facilitating a lesson plan that focuses on teaching their students survival skills that will keep them from meeting the same end as Voenderrick Myers. When you introduce the lesson, explain to the students that you want to teach them how not to become a statistic like Vonderrick Myers. To ensure that you satisfy curriculum standards align them with the Language Arts standards. Math teachers can turn this lesson into a percentage, probability, or statistics lesson plan that couples along with the Language Arts standards. Most importantly, as you facilitate the lesson, refrain from voicing your opinion. What is most important is that the children have an opportunity to discuss the Vonderrick Myers shooting and see you as someone who continues to save their life through education.


Related Articles

How Trayvon Martin’s High School Reacted To His Public Death

Police Officer Kills High School Student in St. Louis After Shooting Him 17 Times

Eric Garner Webquest


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


Get Email Updates
Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships


“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

Derrick (2)



About Classroom Racism Management Specialist

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 Tips for Teachers and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s