The election of the new United States president is not the sole purpose for the rise in racist abuse suspensions. Not only is there and increase in the United States, but the United Kingdom is suffering the same challenges. A classroom management technique that empowers students is the key to eliminating the rise in racist abuse suspensions.
In a recent article, Rise in primary school pupils suspended for racist abuse, the number of primary school pupils suspended for racist abuse has risen by almost thirty-three percent. The United Kingdom Department for Education statistics reveal that 430 children between the ages of five and eleven were given fixed period or permanent exclusions from their schools in the 2014-15 academic year because of racist behavior.
That is 110 more than in the 2009-10 academic year, when 320 pupils were suspended for the same reason. Surprisingly, the number of primary school pupils suspended for drug and alcohol abuse fell by 20% in the same period, from 50 to 40. The number of pupils suspended for sexual misconduct also fell slightly, by 4%, from 250 to 240 too.
According to the article, the primary reason for the increase is the teachers. A source from the United Kingdom Department of Education replied that the numbers only showed that teachers were reporting more racist incidents, not necessarily that there had been more incidents.
Teachers reporting more racist incidents can become problematic of several fronts. The first challenge is the impact on the student. Teachers are more likely to respond to racist abuse student behaviors by using negative criticism, embarrassment, and humiliation which are the most frequent acts that damage teacher-student relationships. The final stage is to recommend the student for the discipline process. Dr. Campbell recently found that students who are disciplined are less likely to attend school or decide to be late for school. This will have a direct impact on student achievement. Students and teachers who are warm, compassionate, and friendly toward one another in the classroom have the potential to improve instruction and learning.
Teachers must understand that students at this age are a product of their home culture. Student academic achievement decreases when the difference between the student’s culture and the school culture increases and the classroom environment does not value the student’s home culture.
One primary factor that controls a student’s home culture is the development of rules that all family members must follow. For example, in the White culture employees and employers believe maintaining eye contact communicates trustworthiness, masculinity, sincerity, and directedness. These same behaviors are taught to White children by their parents. In their home culture it is established that rules are made to be followed by those in the home. Teachers can use this process as an opportunity to decrease the number of suspensions associated with racist abuse suspensions.
This same process was used by a teacher when Dr. Campbell implemented his Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships transitional process. During this process, a teacher came to me and stated, “Mr. Campbell, I am having so many problems with my sixth-period class, and I do not know what to do.” I responded by saying, “Have you tried developing rules and consequences with student input?” After further discussion, she said, “I am going to try it.” A week later, she told me, “That process worked so well with my sixth-period class that I am going to use it with all of my classes.
Teachers who desire to eliminate the rise in racist abuse suspensions should:
1) Divide the students in cooperative learning groups of four
2) Have each group recommend consequences for each racist violation
3) Have the each group report their recommendations to the entire class
4) Have the group come to a consensus for rule violations
5) Submit a copy of these rules to the principal and the parents of the students
Using this process will ensure that teachers empower students to take control of and responsibility for their behaviors associated with racist abuse suspensions.
Physical and racist abuse, drugs & disobedience – why more pupils were expelled from Grimsby schools
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 4707 Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology
The Raccelerate Phenomenon
Treasures of Hidden Racism in Education
“Dr. Campbell did his part and now all we have to do is run with it.”
~ Tom Coleman ~
Woodstown-Pilesgrove Public Schools Superintendent of Schools
“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