Schools Boards have the authority to pass resolutions related to equity and anti-racism. Once this happens, school administrators must develop strategies to help meet the requirements of the resolution. Otherwise equity and anti-racism resolution will become ineffective and an embarrassment for the school board members and the community that they serve.
The school board must begin with definitions for equity and anti-racism. According to Merriam-Webster, equity is defined as freedom from bias or favoritism. Furthermore, anti-racism means to be opposed to racism. Racism is the belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. In schools, the school board must determine what are the primary factors that contribute to the detriment of a particular race.
What normally happens to a school district that commits to equity and anti-racism resolutions is that they become bombarded with complaints from other special interests groups which results in an ineffective initiative to improve racial relations that are detrimental to historically underserved students. They will also become bombarded with complaints from people in races that are perceived as the perpetrators. The perpetrators are normally considered to be the White female population in schools.
The next step is to begin with a fact-finding initiative. This should begin with the expected outcomes related to academic achievement and disciplinary consequences. The data evaluation for academics needs to determine if White students outperform other races determined by the Department of Education. Then, they should determine the historical disciplinary outcomes for the designated races.
The normality is to find that Black students are outperformed when compared to Asian, Hispanic, and White students. It is also normal to find that Black students are disciplined more when compared to Asian, Hispanic, and White students. The school board will need to begin with their commitment of equity and anti-racism towards Black students.
One challenge that the school board will face is the dichotomy that creates racism in schools. Black students and White teachers contribute to challenges with the commitment to the equity and anti-racism resolution. For example, past experiences with racism have resulted in Black students believing that White teachers are racist and therefore reject the White teachers’ efforts and authority to educate them. Another challenge is the perspective of White teachers. It is believed that White teachers favor Hispanic and White students over Black students due to cultural and physical attributes that are more consistent with White teachers.
Since we have established that the dichotomy exists between the Black students and White teachers it is best to begin to enhance those relationships by promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships.
Developing positive relationships with students provides benefits for schools, teachers, and students. Having positive and caring relationships in schools increases resilience and protects children from academic failure, mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, and destructive behavior and violence (Resnick et al., 1997). Long-term teacher-student relationships result in increased teacher job satisfaction (Burke, 1996). Teachers who have positive feelings toward their students are more likely to have students reciprocate those positive feelings (Plax, Kearney, McCroskey, & Richmond, 1986). Teachers who develop positive and personal relationships with students may prevent psychological development problems in their students (Vitto, 2003). Students are more willing to develop positive relationships with teachers who tend to form close friendships with their students (Grossack, 1955).
Finally, the school board needs to conduct a curriculum audit. The mistake that most school boards make is that the result of a curriculum audit means adding some type of African American History course to the curriculum. However, the systemic racism that parents complain which results in the need for a commitment to equity and anti-racism resolutions begins at the primary level with the introduction of color schemes, the introduction of how color is associated with different words and patterns, and how color is portrayed during the instruction of learning in other types of academic disciplines.
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