The news today is that Coca Cola is the latest company to teach white employees that they are all racists and are part of the problem. They go on to say that fixing this requires them to be “less white.” This is not a new concept.
At the beginning of each school year, teachers spend a day being trained on policy changes for the coming year. During the briefings in 2019, one of the meetings was with the discipline team. As usual, we reviewed discipline trends from the previous year and were then told how we were to address those issues.
When a teacher has an issue with a student being disruptive in class and the behavior is serious enough or repetitive enough that it cannot be handled in the classroom, that teacher refers the student to discipline. This referral process happens more in some classes than others. I teach the :underperforming” students, and the office admitted to me that they purposely give me the troublemakers because I am better at handling them. As a result, I wrote over 300 referrals the previous school year. Everything from fighting, to cheating, cell phone usage in class, sleeping, to possession of drugs (including weed and tobacco), and (once) weapons.
So that year we were presented with the statistics for discipline. Black students comprise 30% of our student body, but represented over 50% of our discipline referrals. We were told that this meant we as teachers were racist. That is faulty logic. In order for this to be true, black students would have to break the rules at the same rate as other demographics. I asked the team what percentage of our black student body was part of the “honors” track- the students who are likely college bound, and are all taking more advanced coursework, like AP classes. He asked why that was relevant, and I pointed out that honors students almost never are discipline problems.
He then said that black students had poor grades and poor test scores because the entire system was racist and discriminated against black students. I left it there, because my point was made. However, that is the attitude that is present in the USA today. In education today.