A national dialogue on school discipline has now reemerged in the United States as many educators struggle with how to maintain a balance of cultural responsiveness and high expectations when addressing student transgressions on their campuses. While the field of child development, counseling psychology, and communications pose theoretical responses to such dilemmas, this article aims specifically to address the procedural challenges of dealing with verbal abuse from students and adults. Through the lens of a social justice educator, the author offers practical, humanizing steps that are intended to help secondary school educators engage with students in a way that emphasizes boundaries, respect, and reflection for students and adults alike.
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