Racism vs Student Behavior Chart

Discussion in 'General Education' started by BioAngel, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Nov 5, 2018

    In all of my years of teaching I have never been put into this situation - I'm not directly involved but there is potential for me to become legally involved in something and would like to get some advice. We have a student - 2nd year at our school- who acts aggressive towards others (kicking, grabbing, throwing items) to gain attention, especially towards older boys. I observed this last year and I see this again this year even though I don't teach the student - I might sub or have a duty with him.

    Parents met with his teachers early this year to set up a behavior management chart and he would earn stars if he did what he had to. I've personally seen a huge improvement with him. Parents supported this completely and were happy with improvements too. Lots of communication between parents and teachers from what I've seen.

    Two months later, parents want to meet with top administration all of a sudden, no given reason shared ahead of time. Apparently their child is going home and sharing that he wants to look like the other boys because they don't get in trouble. Some boys get in trouble for something and get a different punishment than this boy - that kind of a gist. I can't really comment on if that is true or not since I'm not a part of that.

    Bottom line: Parents are saying that teachers are giving this student a different punishment because of his race. Or at least that is how it seems to be coming across. They are upset that we are focusing in on his behaviors because of his skin color, even though they support the behavior chart. Other parents are stating that we have "kicked out other students of color" because of various reasons - no names mentioned and in the 9 years that I've taught there I haven't seen a single case of us asking a single person of color to leave.

    I'm not a racist, but I do need to correct his behavior if he's breaking a rule. I have the same strategies for all of my students, not just this student (and he is a sweetheart who wants to do the right thing). Some might be to talk about the situation and come up with a healthy way to deal with our emotions that do not break the rules, take a time out, help with an errand, sit quietly with me and read a book, etc.

    Any advice on how to handle this? I'm being supportive of this sweet child and make sure I'm helping him be the best student possible. I want him to always be positive of who he is and realize behaviors can be changed - we just need to work on them every day.
     
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  3. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Nov 5, 2018

    You already know this, but document the heck out of this situation.

    Do you have a solid classroom management system? 1st time - warning, 2nd time - time out, 3rd time - sent to another classroom, or something like that? If not, get one ASAP. Get something that works for you, whatever it is, and develop a few basic rules. Stay in your seat, hands to yourself, use appropriate language, etc. Pick only a few. Then document when and how you are using this system to address the student's specific behaviors. Do use the same consequences for other students, too, but consequences for breaking rules like hands to yourself will probably only be needed for a few kids.
     
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  4. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Nov 7, 2018

    Thanks Otterpop. I do have a very good classroom management system in place (I've always been marked well on this), so I'm not concerned about that and with my situation I'm not teaching this child, but I see them almost daily during a duty, so the management system may be different for them than their teachers who teach them.

    I have to say that since the behavior chart was put in place, the child is a completely different kid - they know the expectations, can voice them to me/describe the correct actions, and in the last month I have not spoken to that child besides saying Good morning, how are you, what fun things have you done, what are you reading now, etc. Perfect saint, sweet child, smile on his face every day. Like look kids - this kid gets it and is living our goals out daily.

    I've just never had this issue before - and the parents are NOT saying I'm the issue - this seems to be a collection of teachers issue - so I'm just looking for advice on what to do since I'm clueless and honestly I do not believe I'm at fault.
     
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  5. Guitart

    Guitart Rookie

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    Nov 7, 2018

    I think I have mentioned this before..
    I wish they made an app or educational game called "Race Card" or something like that. An accurate way to teach the difference between real racism and just throwing around the race card. Students (and adults) are often too quick to label something racist when it is not. I had a class of hs kids who played a computer game that taught them what real discrimination was. It weeded out false claims from real ones. It was a scenario where they were a law firm and had to choose which cases were valid claims. It kept score and was competitive. It was a very helpful teaching app.
     
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  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Aficionado

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    Nov 8, 2018

    So they are saying your behavior system is racist?? It doesn't sound like you're at fault.
    I guess you just have to show them that all students receive the same consequences.
     
  7. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Companion

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    Nov 8, 2018

    What was the name of the game?
     
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  8. Guitart

    Guitart Rookie

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    Nov 10, 2018

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