In a recent article, Manatee School District administrators are planning to host an event with the focus on reducing the quantity of Black students identified as emotional behavioral disability. The school district hopes to raise community awareness regarding the treatment of Black males in school as well as identifying community resources for students in need. The model for identification is insufficient because it requires an evaluation by teachers that are objective and not subjective as well as categorizing students for circumstances that are beyond their control.

An emotional and behavioral disorder is an emotional disability characterized by the following:

  1. An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and/or teachers. For preschool-age children, this would include other care providers.
  2. An inability to learn which cannot be adequately explained by intellectual, sensory health factors.
  3. A consistent or chronic inappropriate type of behavior or feelings under normal conditions.
  4. A displayed pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.
  5. A displayed tendency to develop physical symptoms, pains or unreasonable fears associated with personal or school problems. [34 C.F.R. § 300.8(c)(4)(i)(A – E)]

A child with EBD is a child who exhibits one or more of the above emotionally based

characteristics of sufficient duration, frequency and intensity that interferes significantly with educational performance to the degree that provision of special educational service is necessary.

EBD is an emotional disorder characterized by excesses, deficits or disturbances of behavior. The child’s difficulty is emotionally based and cannot be adequately explained by intellectual, cultural, sensory general health factors, or other additional exclusionary factors.

Eligibility and Placement.

  1. A child may be considered for placement in a program for children with EBD based upon an eligibility report that shall include the following:

The Manatee Public School District has elected to utilize an early warning system which includes monitoring academics, discipline, attendance, socioeconomic status and retention. It seems that each category is more subjective that objective.

The Manatee Public School District should refrain from using socioeconomic status as a criteria for Emotional Behavioral Disability (EBD) qualification. Socioeconomic status (SES) is an economic and sociological combined total measure of a person’s work experience and of an individual’s or family’s economic and social position in relation to others, based on income, education, and occupation. In 2010, 28.4% of all Black persons are considered to be living in poverty. There is a great probability that many of the Black students in the Manatee Public School District will be considered for the EBD qualification process due to their economical status.

The other categories for EBD qualification have a direct correlation to the relationship between the teacher and student. It would better serve the Manatee Public School District to eliminate classroom racism by promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships before continuing with their new initiative.

Related Articles

Manatee School District to host community summit on Black Male Crisis

Manatee School district’s investigator put on paid administrative leave

Matthew Kane, former Manatee High School assistant principal, resigns from Manatee County School District


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


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