How should teachers respond to new discipline policies?

In a recent article, New York Public Schools are implementing new discipline policies for which many teachers have rejected. The focus of the new policies is to reduce the quantity of African American males who are subjected to suspensions and expulsions. Teachers from other school districts have responded to the new discipline policies with opposition and frustration.

The new discipline policies for New York Public School revolve around the concept of Restorative Justice. Restorative justice is an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of the victims and the offenders, as well as the involved community, instead of satisfying abstract legal principles or punishing the offender. Victims take an active role in the process, while offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions, “to repair the harm they’ve done—by apologizing, returning stolen money, or community service”. In addition, it provides help for the offender in order to avoid future offences. It is based on a theory of justice that considers crime and wrongdoing to be an offence against an individual or community, rather than the state. Restorative justice that fosters dialogue between victim and offender shows the highest rates of victim satisfaction and offender accountability.

The new discipline policy training widens the gap between the students perceptions and the teachers intentions.

For example, during cultural sensitivity training required of school districts under restorative justice programs, teachers are told they are largely to blame for bad behavior of black students because they “misinterpret” African-American culture.

In addition, the following course description infuses a continued widening of this gap. “Institutions are infested with token people of color and racist white people who uphold White Supremacy, causing a survivor mentality among those who encounter daily micro-invalidations, -aggressions, and -assaults in hostile environments. Though a historical overview, learn about the oppressive system known as the American Education System, a school system that was never designed for children of color.”

As a teacher, your first response is to become defensive. When we become defensive we reject the efforts that are causing the defensiveness. In this instance, teachers will continue to blame the students, the parents, the administrators, and the community.

This is know to be true because of several responses to the new discipline policies in other regions in the country. For example, a Los Angeles Unified School District is seeing a similar spike in campus offenses after its school superintendent followed federal orders to reduce suspensions of African-Americans. Even threats against teachers are ignored, as administrators’ hands are tied by the new policy.

“I was terrified and bullied by a fourth-grade student,” a teacher at a Los Angeles Unified School District school recently noted on the Los Angeles Times website. “The black student told me to ‘Back off, b—h.’ I told him to go to the office and he said, ‘No, b—h, and no one can make me.’ ”‘I’m going to torture you. I’m doing this because I can’t be removed.’

Complained another LAUSD teacher: “We now have a ‘restorative justice’ counselor, but we still have the same problems. Kids aren’t even suspended for fights or drugs.”

In neighboring Orange County, teachers are dealing with increasingly violent and disrespectful student behavior since schools there also switched to the restorative strategy.

Teachers should respond to the new discipline policies as follows:

  1. The first response is to evaluate if your discipline policies reveal that you are a racist. You can use the Raccelerate Racism Formula as a guide.
  2. Write down the top ten ways that you as a teacher develop trust with your students.
  3. Develop five strategies for how you as the teacher will develop trust with your students.
  4. Have your students to write down the top ten ways that they develop trust with their teacher. Have the students to work in cooperative learning groups to develop a top ten class list on how the students in that classroom develop trust with their teacher. Have students to compare and contrast your list and the class list. have students to develop five strategies that will develop trust between the teacher and the student.
  5. Reflect on the differences between your five strategies and the class five strategies for developing trust.
  6. Develop a plan for developing trust based on those differences

Once you have developed trust with your students the need for new discipline policies will become non existent.

Related Articles

School Hope Changes in Policy Will Bridge the ‘Discipline Gap’

How liberal discipline policies are making schools less safe

Teachers complain about revised CPS discipline policy

St. Louis Public Schools reconsider discipline policy, move forward with turnaround plan

Is Syracuse schools’ revised discipline approach working? Not yet, monitor says

 

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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.
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