A recent event of the ambush of NYPD police officers by Ismaaiyl Brinsley could cause racial problems for New York teachers. New York teachers will have to report to schools for next few days as we prepare for the Christmas holiday. Students will be talking about the incident which may require additional intervention on your behalf.

Some complications regarding the ambush of NYPD police officers may be derived from student to student interactions. Some students will side with the police and some students will side with the shooter. If there is a disagreement between students you could find additional fights in your classroom. You may also find that some students will get bullied for there opinion. Some students may decide to tease other students because of their opinion and this may lead to bullying.

You will also find that parental influence may have a great impact on the children that enter your classroom as a result of the ambush of NYPD police officers. The students may feel that because they agree with their parents opinion, they may feel that they have additional backing to speak their opinion and therefore disrupt your class.

You man even find opposition from parents. They may feel that your past practices of discipline were unwarranted and want to take their frustration out on you. They may tell their children that you as a teacher a no better than the cops. This will intensify the racial challenge that could exist in your classroom.

This could lead to you becoming the object of the students frustration because of the ambush of the NYPD police officers. You will have to prepare yourself for the worst and implement a discipline process that ensures that you are not equated with the NYPD police officers.

  1. The first thing that you want to do is to check your discipline process. I recommend a three strikes you are out format. The first level should be some type of nonverbal warning. With Black children the best type of nonverbal warning is the “stare”. Black mothers us the same nonverbal technique to get the attention of their children so that they know that it is a non verbal warning and they had better stop whatever it is that they are doing. Make sure the children understand that it is a nonverbal warning. In the beginning, I would stare for about 30 seconds, announce the students name, and then announce that it is your first warning. Then continue teaching.
  2. The second warning needs to verbal. However, it needs to be a non formal verbal warning. Your could say to the student, “Do you need to see a counselor”? Or “Do you need to go to the nurse”? If they say no to both questions, then I would say you must need a second warning because I can not understand why you are disrupting the class”. As you are talking to the student, it is a good time to remind them of the infraction and the consequence for the infraction. Remind them that in the beginning of the year that all of the students decided and agreed on what the consequences would be enforced for each infraction. This way you are also reminding the class of the behavioral expectations for the class.
  3. On the third warning, send them to the predetermined office with a pass. Make sure that they understand that you have sent them out and gave them every opportunity to be successful in your class. Remind them that the main reason that you have to send them out is because you are disrupting the education of the other students. Tell them, “You can mess up your own education but it is my job to protect those who desire to learn in school today”. Many students will appreciate your stance and continue to be cooperative with you.

If you have not incorporated this three strikes you out process, develop it as soon as possible to ensure that the ambush of NYPD police officers has a minimal impact on your classroom.

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


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