As soon as Principal Renita Perkins saw the teacher's tears, she had a pretty good notion about what was wrong.
At the teacher's prior school, affluence and two-parent homes were the norm. On the flip side, Nashville's Cumberland Elementary has mainly disadvantaged minority students. Perkins had discussed this potential problem with the teacher when she hired her.
But now, here she was, at her wits' end over two difficult students in her fourth-grade class. Their behavior had crossed the line into physical fighting.