How to quarantine racism in schools?

How to quarantine racism in schools?

Quarantine racism in schools is the only option that will close the achievement gap, eliminate disproportionate discipline, and create citizens that no longer embrace the detrimental actions that become detrimental to other persons due to their race.  No longer can we just sit back and talk about or continue to create programming for teachers and administrators that has minimal results. We must quarantine racism in schools before a student graduates’ high school and ventures into adulthood as a racist.

Quarantine racism in schools means to restrict the movement of racism at each grade level. For example, when a student enters fifth grade there are certain elements of racism within that class and classroom structure. Before the student is promoted to the sixth grade, all elements associated with racism should be eliminated and therefore resulting in the quarantine of racism in schools.

However, we know that past efforts to quarantine racism in schools has faltered. Statistics reveal that Black and Hispanic students continue to face school discipline and academic atrocities. For example, past studies report that:

  • Black students account for 18 percent of the country’s pre-K enrollment, while accounting for 48 percent of preschoolers with multiple out-of-school suspensions.
  • Black students are expelled from school at a rate three times more when compared to the White students.
  • Black girls are suspended at higher rate when compared to boys and girls of different ethnicities
  • Almost one in four boys of color, excluding Hispanic and Asian American students, with disabilities receive an out-of-school suspension.
  • One in five Black girls with disabilities receive an out-of-school suspension.
  • One-fourth of the schools with the highest percentage of Black and Hispanic students do not offer Algebra II
  • One-third of schools with the highest percentages of Black and Hispanic students do not offer chemistry
  • Black and Hispanic students account for 40 percent of enrollment at schools with gifted programs, but only represent 26 percent of students in gifted programs.
  • Black, Latino and Native American students attend schools with higher concentrations of first-year teachers (3-4 percent) when compared to predominate White student schools (1 percent).
  • Black students are more than three times as likely to attend schools where fewer than 60 percent of teachers meet all state certification and licensure requirements

To quarantine racism in schools, educators will have to veer away from past efforts. Some of those past efforts include bias training and Restorative Justice. The challenge with both efforts is that educators become defensive because of the training. When a person becomes defensive, they resort to defensive routines to ensure their survival. Defensive routines are the main reason why other efforts to quarantine racism in schools has failed.

The best way to quarantine racism in schools is to promote positive racial teacher student classroom relationships. Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships was developed by Dr. Derrick L. Campbell. Dr. Campbell found that promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships reduced disciplinary infractions and increased classroom academic achievement. This is important because if classroom achievement is aligned with the state standards then state test scores will increase too.

Promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships has additional benefits. Developing positive relationships with students provides benefits for schools, teachers, and students. Having positive and caring relationships in schools increases resilience and protects children from academic failure, mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, and destructive behavior and violence. Long-term teacher-student relationships result in increased teacher job satisfaction. Teachers who have positive feelings toward their students are more likely to have students reciprocate those positive feelings. Teachers who develop positive and personal relationships with students may prevent psychological development problems in their students. Students are more willing to develop positive relationships with teachers who tend to form close friendships with their students.

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Dr. Derrick L. Campbell

(856) 566 – 3267

PO Box 4707

Cherry Hill, NJ 08003

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