Contextualization of Misbehavior
Before disciplining students, educators should elicit and consider the reasons for their perceived misbehavior, particularly as they relate to racial differences between teachers and students. Doing so demonstrates a teacher's respect for student concerns. It can even uncover information about a problem that the school might help solve, such as the need for educational supports; assistance in securing food and shelter; relief from victimization through bullying; and counseling for trauma, depression, and family difficulties (Gathercoal, 1998).
For example, in class, many African American students speak out loudly and interrupt as a way of showing their interest, or even argue as they press their point; their intention is to participate, not misbehave, although some teachers may consider them disrespectful. "