A recent article cited that Richmond Public Schools Martin Luther King Middle School had 1635 disorderly incidents in the previous year. The school has all of the tools necessary to become a high achieving school. The only way that the Richmond Public Schools will be able to develop a high achieving school culture is to transform the perceptions that students have regarding their teachers.

According to the article, The On Your Side Investigators found data that reveals the MLK Richmond school has safety problems. According to the Virginia State database, last year MLK had 1635 disorderly or disruptive behavior offenses.

Martin Luther King’s statistics makeup 16% of RPS’ total for these disruptive offenses. If each school in the district shared the total equally, that percentage should be just under 2.5%. MLK has eight times that amount.

The new Martin Luther King Middle School was a $40 million investment into the community. The state-of-the art facility has smart boards in classrooms and Wi-Fi in the building.

Students look out the windows of the beautiful building to their homes, which are in some of the most dangerous housing projects in the city. Some of the crimes and behavior issues witnessed there invade the school.

Even though Richmond Public School stakeholders are apt to blame the parents, the real problem exists with the perceptions that the students have regarding the educators. Many of the parents are products of the Richmond Public Schools and these parents convey the failures of the Richmond Public School system to their children.

For example, research has found that there is a high risk of educational underachievement for children who are from low-income housing circumstances. Children in poverty are at a higher risk than advantaged children for retention in their grade, special deleterious placements during the school’s hours and even not completing their high school education.

For children with low resources, the risk factors are similar to others such as juvenile delinquency rates, higher levels of teenage pregnancy, and the economic dependency upon their low income parent or parents. Families and society who submit low levels of investment in the education and development of less fortunate children end up with less favorable results for the children who see a life of parental employment reduction and low wages. Higher rates of early childbearing with all the connected risks to family, health and well-being are major important issues to address since education from preschool to high school are both identifiably meaningful in a life.

Poverty often drastically affects children’s success in school. A child’s “home activities, preferences, mannerisms” must align with the world and in the cases that they do not these students are at a disadvantage in the school and most importantly the classroom. Therefore, it is safe to state that children who live at or below the poverty level will have far less success educationally than children who live above the poverty line.

Students who attend the Richmond Public School Martin Luther King Middle School bring community problems into the school because they know that the school is not designed to enhance their future.

Richmond Public Schools should first monitor disciplinary infractions by utilizing the Raccelerate Racism Formula and the Raccelerate Racism Scale. This will enable administrators and teachers to evaluate the primary causes for student misperceptions of teacher intentions.

Richmond Public Schools must respond to these problems by enhancing the perception that parents have regarding the teachers. Parents gauge the effectiveness of teachers by the response from their children. Contrary to public opinion, children have a good idea of what makes a good teacher. Teachers who are favored by parents often, greet all children daily as they enter the classroom. Have a sense of humor that keeps children interested and makes learning enjoyable, use visual aids to enhance instruction. However, if the children say things such as the teacher is mean, shows favorites, or won’t listen to their side of the story, then the first impression the parents have will be negative.

Richmond Public Schools will also have to transform the perceptions that children have regarding their teachers intentions by promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships (Properateasclaships).

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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


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