Training needed on both sides

4/8/2017, 10:08 a.m.

Re “Unequal punishment: Rep. McEachin requests federal investigation into high suspension rates for African-American students and those with disabilities,” March 30-April 1 edition:

The situation of greater punishment statistics for minorities, in particular minorities with special needs, sounds like only the symptoms of the problem are being addressed and not the real problem(s).

First, it appears that the teachers and administrators are not being hand-picked for their positions. And those who are, are not trained to deal with emotional situations.

Perhaps this is akin to placing a Marine rifleman as a crew member on a submarine. The rifleman was trained to react without thinking and shoot from the hip. A submariner is trained to react logically in a very calm, thoughtful manner.

The submariner is hand-picked because of his abilities and receives incentive pay for his service outside of his comfort zone and natural environment.

Can we expect our randomly picked teachers/administrators to do the job required without the emotional training and maturity to deal with emotional situations and without responding with unrestrained emotions?

On the other side, are “at risk” minority and/or special needs children provided with preschool and early school training to teach them the unwritten rules of acceptable behavior? Children coming from broken or dysfunctional homes may never have the opportunity to learn these family taught values!

Do teachers know each student’s story? Are the minority and/or handicapped students acting out their own frustrations at not being treated as a “normal” person?

People given respect typically give back respect. It appears there are lessons of respect to be learned by both the teachers/administrators and minority/special needs students.

It will pay us dividends tomorrow to give respect and recognition to both parties today.