In a recent article Fresno Unified School District teachers have decided to confront school administrators regarding the lack of student consequences for school violations. The teachers and the teachers union are in a no win situation if they expect that change will occur by confronting school administrators. A better alternative is for Fresno Unified School District teachers to reduce student disciplinary infractions and teacher student fights by promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships.

According to the article, Fresno Unified teachers demand stricter discipline, teachers are displeased with the way that administrators handle school discipline. The teachers have sponged by participating in a survey. According to the survey the majority of the teachers said they have concerns about how disciplinary issues are handled and that security and discipline problems have increased over the years. Almost one-third of the teachers said they have had students removed from class for violent offenses, only to see those students returned to the classroom the following day.

The survey was a result of several incidents in which teachers were physically harmed. In the previous month a student allegedly assaulted teacher Roy Verduzco when he tried to break up a fight. He was sent to the hospital for high blood pressure. In another incident, another teacher was allegedly assaulted by a student and this teacher is presently absent from school on personal leave. According to Scott Hatfield, the Bullard High School teacher who has been leading the petition efforts, the teacher was encouraged not to press charges or speak out about the incident.

It appears that the Fresno Unified School District teachers are having difficulties with establishing positive classroom relationships with students. The teachers have decided that the fight is with the teachers and the administrators when in reality the real fight is between the teachers and the students.

What characteristics do Fresno Unified School District teachers possess that could lead to teacher student fights?

​Racial differences between teachers and students influence positive teacher-student classroom relationship development. Teacher-student conflicts result from a difference in desires, and even though this difference may be reduced, it remains in schools.

Racial background affects individuals attitudes, beliefs, and values about education. It also influenced ideas about how classes ought to be conducted, how students and teachers ought to interact, and what types of relationships are appropriate for students and teachers. The classroom conflict between teachers and students results from the different cultural contexts that students and teachers bring to the classroom.

What perceptions do Fresno Unified School District students possess that could lead to teacher student fights?

Student perceptions and feelings regarding teachers and themselves influence teacher student classroom relationships. Students do better in school when they believe getting a good education will increase their chances for success. Students who perceive that teachers have favorable feelings toward them have higher achievement levels when teachers have positive views toward them. Children who have positive feelings regarding teachers have higher achievement levels.

Black and Latino urban high school students believe their underachievement results when they perceive racism and discrimination toward them and become limited by American society. Black adolescents believe school is a hostile place and White teachers are oppression agents that symbolize the racism Black students have endured throughout their entire lives.

Black students may develop oppositional social identities that are contrary to the social expectations of mainstream society when they experience racism and respond with anger and rebellion. Some Black students are convinced that White teachers are racist and prejudiced and will therefore reject White teachers’ authority due to their experience with racism.

Black students frequently find themselves in classrooms where their culture, racial, and linguistic identities are under constant attack that manifests as a multitude of disciplinary actions, suspensions, and expulsions. Minority students are more likely to encounter teacher behavior that impedes their progress when compared to White students.

White teachers and Black students have differing beliefs that can lead to teacher student fights. However, the Fresno Unified School district teachers are the professional and the expectation is that they can resolve many of the conflicts by promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships.

Related Articles

Fresno Unified Teachers Voice Safety Concerns

Fresno programs try to repair racial imbalance in student suspensions

When classroom violence breaks out, how can a teacher respond? Rules and protocols vary

Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.

PO Box 4707 Cherry Hill, NJ 08034


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Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology

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“The model that you use to analyze teacher-student relationships is a good one for most school districts”.

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~ Darrell Pope ~ Hutchinson Kansas NAACP President

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