July 31, 2019

CCSD Teachers Need More Training

After reading Rebecca McCarthy’s article, "Means: CCSD Teachers Should Focus on Equity," (City Dope, May 8) I was left with many things to reflect on. The publishing summarizes the Clarke County School District meeting that occurred on May 2. At this meeting, statistics were provided regarding the increased rates of infraction incidents among all school levels. It was brought to attention that students who are African American, male, homeless or disabled were referred for disciplinary infractions at disproportionately higher levels than other students. Additionally, Hispanic, Asian, White, English language learners and gifted students were disciplined at lower rates compared to other students.

School Superintendent Demond Means stated that 13 behavior specialists would be working in the school district in the upcoming school year. Means also discussed that he wants "equity in action." My thought while reading that statement was, what if students are behaving poorly because of discrimination and lack of equality within the classroom? A behavior specialist can definitely address poor behaviors of students; however, Means also mentioned that he believes CCSD teachers are not prepared to handle challenging students. What can Clarke County do to address these issues?

My suggestion is to bring in those 13 behavior specialists, but also provide proper training to teachers. This training would educate teachers on how to properly handle challenging students and how to create equity within their classrooms. These suggestions address student behaviors, and educate teachers on how to establish equity and how to properly handle challenging students. By taking these steps, CCSD has the chance to increase equity for students in all schools. Can CCSD make the necessary changes to provide equity to all students?