COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Wednesday night, Richland School District Two wanted to prove that they know representation matters.
“About only two percent of the teachers in the country are minority men of color,” said Superintendent Baron Davis. “Right now in Richland 2, it’s about six percent, but we want to increase that.”
That’s why the district hosted an event called the Premier 100 Summit, designed to recruit and retain minority male teachers in the district.
Superintendent Davis says research shows this type of recruitment would have a positive impact on students.
“When students have teachers of color, particularly men of color, it increases their chances of going to college and completing college,” Davis said. “It also decreases the dropout rate for minority male students, particularly those from low-income households.”
The district brought in current and future minority male teachers from across the state, for the event, and folks in attendance say they know firsthand the positive effect that having diversity in the classroom can have on students.
“It’s very important,” said educator Benjamin Jackson. “They see us in the suits. They see us making positive choices. So it’s definitely going to reflect in their behavior each day, or help them grow up to want to strive to be something.”
For the teachers in attendance, they’re just hoping to continue setting positive examples for students who may not feel seen.
“If you want to be a role model, the best thing for you to do is to become a teacher and change a life,” said Brandarius Jones who attended the event.
Superintendent Davis says he intends to host this every year in the district, and that he wants to host a Premier 100 Conference. He says that it would be designed to not only to recruit educators but to also to share skills and strategies in the classroom.