There was a time when teachers acted in loco parentis – without regard to the race of their students. But teachers today can’t run a disciplined classroom because they are afraid of being accused of bias (“De Blasio and Carranza should heed the wisdom of ‘Dear White Teacher,’ “ New York Post, Sep. 4).
That’s why it’s heartening to read about a black 8th grade teacher in Portland, Oregon who wrote an essay addressed to her white colleagues urging them to seize control of their classrooms once again. If that means giving time-outs to students of color, so be it.
When I was teaching in the Los Angeles Unified School District, busing brought in hundreds of students from the inner city. When some of them became disruptive, white teachers were reluctant to discipline them out of fear they would be called racist. As a result, classroom decorum slowly disappeared, making it harder and harder to proceed with instruction.
Discipline has to be fair, but it cannot be denied because it is indispensable to learning. It’s time to make “Dear White Teacher” required reading for all schools.
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