Within the next few days, the Grand Jury for the Michael Brown shooting is expected to render a verdict. The rendering of this verdict may cause problems in your classroom and school.

For student fights that result from the grand jury decision of the Michael Brown shooting, report both the instigator and the perpetrator. It takes two people to fight. One is the instigator and one is the perpetrator. This way no parent, whether White or Black can say that you as a teacher or the school district are racist.

If the grand jury verdict frees Darren Wilson for the Michael Brown shooting there is an anticipated response from the community and civil rights leaders. Black parents may express their discontent with the verdict and Black students will also express this discontent. If there are any students fights follow the above recommendation.

Additionally, many Black students may associate their White teachers with the Ferguson Police and the other challenges associated with the Michael Brown shooting. It may seem that the Black students are acting out and making it a challenge for you in the classroom.

Here are a few tips about Black student verbal and nonverbal behaviors.

  • Do not be offended. Out of respect, Black students are taught not to make direct eye contact with an adult. Don’t be offended if the Black student does not give you direct eye contact.
  • Evaluate Black student listening techniques. When a Black student is excited about what they have heard, they ask you to repeat it to determine if you are sincere or telling the truth. They now are listening for tone.
  • Evaluate Black student debating techniques. When Black students debate, not only do they debate the idea, they also debate the person. So don’t take their debating techniques personally as most White teachers have done in the past.
  • Keep your cool. One way that Black students will attempt to rise to leadership in front of their peers is to make the teacher lose their cool. Actually, when you do not lose your cool in front of Black students you maintain your established leadership and authority in the class. Otherwise, all of the students will know how to push your buttons.

Related Articles

UNF professor weighs in on Ferguson grand jury decision

As Michael Brown Grand Jury Winds Down, Is Ferguson On the Brink of War?

Police nationwide brace for protests after Ferguson decision

St. Louis-area schools may shutter ahead of Ferguson verdict



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


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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

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