In a recent article, Black students at the Boston Latin Academy have made accusations that the teachers facilitate a hostile environment which includes a culture of racism. No child should be subjected to an environment that fosters any type of hostility. Boston Latin Academy teachers can invalidate allegations of racism by utilizing that Raccelerate Racism System and promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships.

According to the article, Students: Boston Latin School an ‘unsafe’ environment, Black students associated with the #BlackatBLS campaign have accused Boston Latin Academy administrators of racist policies that foster a hostile environment. Student Meggie Noel stated that “we are here … to demand that the BLS school administration publicly denounce this type of behavior and effectively address the issue in accordance with the school policy related to harassment, bullying and discrimination”.

Noel went on to say that “we know the names of the students who made the comments, the administrators also know their names, we see them every day in homeroom, in class, at lunch. The fact that our administration failed to publicly denounce this behavior or even say something to the students making the comments has created an unsafe and racially hostile learning environment for students of color at BLS.”

The allegations of racism from the Boston Latin Academy students will severely impact teacher-student classroom relationships. Since the administrators support the teachers in their academic and classroom management efforts, students will eventually see the teachers and administrators in the same light.

In what ways do teachers behave that are consistent with the Boston Latin Academy administrators? 

The Black students have indirectly proposed that Boston Latin Academy administrators discriminate. They also believe that many White teachers discriminate against students by stereotyping according to ethnicity. White teachers may have difficulty in understanding minorities due to the teachers’ rejection of the students’ lifestyles.

According to the Raccelerate Phenomenon, schools have a bias against students who do not share the same characteristics as White, female, middle-class teachers. These teachers are more likely to have negative academic and behavioral expectations regarding Black students when compared to the expectations of White students. This is the result of having negative attitudes toward Black children and rating Black students more negatively when compared to White students. Resulting in them rating Black male children as more deviant when compared to White children.

This type of rating system results in White teachers directing more criticism toward Black males and rating Black male children personalities more negatively when compared to White male children. Conclusively, White teachers perceive White students more positively when compared to Black students.

Boston Latin Academy Black students believe that White teachers show a heightened hostility towards brighter Black children. It becomes evident that European American dissent teachers favor other students rather than Black students. This will impact the relationships that White teachers have with Black children who are considered gifted and talented. White teachers interact with White gifted and non-gifted students more than with gifted and non-gifted Black students. This has become the primary complaint of Black students who attend the Boston Latin Academy.

The only way that White teachers can eliminate the perceptions that Black students have is to promote positive racial teacher student classroom relationships. The interpersonal relationship between students and teachers has a profound impact on instructional activities and outcomes. Teachers respond to their favorite students by:

  • Creating a warmer and more positive classroom atmosphere
  • Providing superior feedback on how they are performing
  • Teach challenging material
  • Increase opportunities to respond to questions

Warm relationships between teachers and students motivate students to meet teachers’ requests for compliance. Expressing warmth toward minority students without accompanying the friendliness with challenging academic standards is just as debilitating to students as expressing overt hostility. This feeling of overt hostility has become prominent at the Boston Latin Academy because teachers and administrators lack the appropriate process for promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships.

Related Articles

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Black Enrollment at Boston Latin falls sharply

School district to investigate racial climate at Boston Latin

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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~ Darrell Pope ~ Hutchinson Kansas NAACP President

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