How can teachers avoid the perception of systemic racism?

The war on systemic racism continues to forge forward and the battle will eventually take place in the classroom. Teachers who are unprepared will suffer the most and become publicly ridiculed resulting in a drastically reduced teaching force for which the next generations will pay for dearly. Teachers must distance themselves from accusations of disproportionate disciple and establish and maintain positive classroom relationships to avoid the pitfalls associated with systemic racism.

In a recent article, Parents say York Region school board has no plan to deal with allegations of systemic racism, several parents of color have voiced their disappointment with the York region school board decisions and procedures to eliminate alleged systemic racism at the school district. The allegations are a result of alleged behavior of several staff members. In one incident, the principal of Sir Wilfird Laurier Public School in Markham, Ghada Sadaka, published several posts on Facebook about Islam and refugees that some parents reported as offensive. One of the post suggested banning burkas in Europe. In another incident, a teacher insulted a Black student in a class where the majority students are White, by telling the White students to check their bags to ensure that the Black student, had not stolen anything.

The York Region school board has responded to these incidents by reviewing and recommending updates for existing school policies. This response has infuriated parents due to lack of transparency and the refusal to respond to previous allegations of systemic racism. On parent responded that “the tone of the meeting seems to be the same as what we’ve experienced over the last year. The problem itself is not being addressed … and to hear the board talk about policies in place — they were in place, and we still had this issue.”

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What are the primary components of systemic racism in schools?

First you have to look at the structure of the school from a systemic perspective. Bolman and Deal recommended evaluating organizations from a human resource, symbolic, structural, and political perspectives. The first major component is human resource. The human resource perspective includes the needs of students, teachers, school administrators, district administrators, support staff, and the governing body which is the school board members.

Next is the symbolic perspective. The culture of a school is represented and communicated by the usage of symbols. Symbols include but are not limited to values, vision, rituals, and ceremonies. Values define the fundamental tenets of the school. Vision is the image of the school’s purpose. Rituals include those day to day routines. Ceremonies are the culminating activities associated with rituals.

Next is the structural perspective. The structural perspective is the blueprint of formal expectations and exchanges amongst those who are part of the human resource perspective. The structural perspective includes vertical coordination, lateral coordination, and structural imperatives. Vertical coordination is represented by legitimized authority, rules and policies, as well as planning and control systems. Lateral coordination is represented by meetings, task forces, coordinating roles, matrix structure, and networks. Structural imperatives include size and age, core processes, environment, strategy and goals, information technology, and the nature of the organization.

Politics is the final perspective which is centered on power and decision making. Sources of power include position power, information and expertise, control of rewards, coercive power, alliances and networks, access and control of agendas, framing the meaning of symbols, and personal power.

Systemic racism can become the product of each individual perspective or a collective of all perspectives. Teachers will have to determine the perceptive that will ensure that any allegations of systemic racism in the classroom are null and void.

Many of the challenges associated with the accusations of systemic racism are related to either symbolic and structural perspective. Teachers have very little control over the human resource perspective because they have limited control over the students who are initially assigned to their class. Within the symbolic perspective, teachers have complete control over the rituals or day to day operations of their class. The structural perspective provides teachers the opportunity to control expectations and exchanges. Teachers should have complete control over the political perspective because they are provided position power over students and have the authority to frame the meaning of symbols.

How should teachers respond to allegations of systemic racism associated with the symbolic perspective?

Teachers have total control over the day to day operations of the classroom. What many parents and civics organizations complain about is the outcome of those day to day operations. One detrimental outcome is disproportionate discipline. Teachers need to use the Raccelerate Formula to ensure that they are not associated with systemic racism in the area of disproportionate disciple.

How should teachers respond to allegations of systemic racism associated with the structural perspective?

Teachers have control over the classroom expectations and exchanges. Many of the difficulties that are associated with systemic racism arise from differences in those expectations on a cultural level. Teacher can eliminate this systemic racism stigma by promoting positive teacher student classroom relationships (Properateasclaships).

Related Articles

What white people should do about systemic racism

Pro Sports Leagues Support Systemic Racism By Prohibiting Cannabis

Study shows systemic racism impacts health of African-Americans

All the best,

Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
www.positiveracialrelationships.com
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

 pprt-rev1educational-racism-book     Racism Book     icon_r

“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

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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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One Response to How can teachers avoid the perception of systemic racism?

  1. JaDonnia B. says:

    Your article s tremendous insights and beginning with the ‘conversation’, if we are not willing to discuss and examine the collective mindset, then addressing the perception of systemic racism is fruitless. That is the first step-reflection.
    That which can immediately be controlled, is the classroom setting. Teachers have sufficient autonomy to establish a culture and climate within the confines of their four walls[even without walls]. The educator sets the tone for relationship building and responsive to diversity, respect, tolerance, and the all-important sense of ‘belonging’, can characterize the pedagogy. Just one teacher’s cultural proficiency that disallows bias and inequity, can spread laterally and vertically throughout the building.
    Loved this work!

    Like

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