Florida House of Representatives have approved legislation that allows teachers to carry guns in the classroom without any provisions for racial bias training. Teachers will carry concealed weapons as a strategy to eliminate or reduce the problematic increase of school shootings. While the intention of the legislation is to reduce school shootings, only White students will benefit unless racial bias training is provide for all teachers who will carry guns in schools.
The purpose of a gun is to kill something. It’s a tool that has enough power, when used properly to kill. Hunting rifles and shotguns are for killing animals. Handguns are for killing people. That’s the purpose behind their design–they are portable, concealable, easy-to-use tools for killing a person.
Since most killings in schools are conducted by White students, It would appear on the surface that the need for carrying concealed weapons in the classroom is for killing White students. According to the Philadelphia Tribune, the majority of mass shootings are carried out by white men. For example, in February, 2018, Nikolas Cruz, 19, unleashed the full might of an AR-15 military assault rifle on defenseless classmates inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., leaving 17 teenagers dead before authorities apprehended him.
However, the media continues to make killings by Whites less problematic than the disproportionate discipline that Black students continue to endure which is consistent with the Raccelerate Phenomenon. Experts believe that painting the school shootings issue as one of color is problematic because there are far more White men in the United States than any other race, hence the over-representation. However, equally problematic is identifying mass shooters as mentally ill, which both media and law enforcement do, while stigmatizing minority offenders as criminals. In the classrooms, Black students will not benefit from gun tooting teachers without racial bias training.
Florida has a stand your ground law. The “stand your ground” law says “a person” is justified in using deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm, or to prevent a forcible felony. A White teacher in Florida has the opportunity to justify killing a Black student if they feel that they are in danger of great bodily harm.
Herein lies the justification for racial bias training. White teachers and black students exhibit behaviors that will ultimately result in a clash where the Black student will get killed and the laws of Florida will justify the killing.
The racial bias training must begin with the differences in both nonverbal and verbal behaviors of Whites and Blacks. Education is a communication process that is not limited to transmitting knowledge but also involves interpersonal communication behaviors and nonverbal behaviors that are the major aspects of interpersonal relationships, which are critical in all learning situations. The teaching-learning process is essentially a communication event that includes verbal and nonverbal communication. Teachers and students are verbal and nonverbal message senders and receivers. Developing respectful relationships with students requires considerable knowledge of their verbal and nonverbal communication styles to ensure that gun tooting teachers do not victimize Black students.
Schools and Black student conflict develop from expectation differences related to communication styles. The general public fails to accept that Blacks have different communication norms and conventions by assuming that Blacks communicate using standards set by socially dominant Whites. Whites’ dispassionate and detached communication mode creates distrust among Blacks which will result in an increase killing of Black students without the appropriate racial bias training.
Furthermore, schools must promote positive racial teacher student classroom relationships to ensure that Black students are not victimized by gun tooting teachers. It is well documented that teachers discriminate according to ethnicity. Racial bias training that places an emphasis on developing positive racial relationships with students provides benefits for schools, teachers, and students.
All the best,
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 4707 Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
- Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships
- Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology
- The Raccelerate Formula App
- Treasures of Hidden Racism in Education
- The Ultimate Guide to Classroom Racism Management
“Dr. Campbell did his part and now all we have to do is run with it.”
~ Tom Coleman ~
Woodstown-Pilesgrove Public Schools Superintendent of Schools
“The model that you use to analyze teacher-student relationships is a good one for most school districts”.
~ Joe Vas ~ Perth Amboy Mayor
“Dr. Campbell’s Cultural Relationship Training Program is comprehensive, informative, and should be required training for all schools”
~ Darrell Pope ~ Hutchinson Kansas NAACP President