EGUSD School Board Unites to Promote Educational Equity and Abolish Institutional Racism
ELK GROVE, Calif. – January 31, 2018—After listening to and learning from hundreds of concerned community members who attended both the EGUSD Community Forum on Race and Educational Equity held on January 16th and the Pleasant Grove Regional Parent Meeting held on January 23rd, the Elk Grove Unified School District Board of Education shared their thoughts, perspectives and voices during a Special Meeting the Board held on January 24th. At the meeting, the Board discussed and commented on work needed to systematically and boldly innovate and implement best practices to ensure equity and social justice in Elk Grove Unified.
As Board Members pored over the gathered community feedback, the theme of how schools respond to hate and bias stood out. Superintendent Christopher R. Hoffman shared that EGUSD employees and leaders can and will do more to ensure that equitable decisions, policies, and practices are supportive of all students’ learning, growth and development. Hoffman explained, “The educational equity work that is already underway is designed to eliminate institutional racism and bias in our policies, procedures and practices. Our work to develop an open mindset across the District will improve relationships by helping us see the humanity in each other.” The Superintendent also noted that the encroaching presence of social media in the educational environment necessitates us to be more nimble in managing such situations, and that the District must review policies regarding hate, harassment and bias with greater frequency.
The District’s current response to hate and bias is aligned to nine key considerations identified by the Teaching Tolerance organization, as well as with other considerations brought forward by the NAACP and other community groups: Put safety first; Denounce the act; Investigate; Involve others; Work with the media; Provide accurate information and dispel misinformation; Support targeted students; Seek justice, Avoid blame; Promote healing. These key considerations are a guide for all District administrators when an incident occurs related to hateful behavior, bullying, discrimination, harassment and racially intolerant acts involving EGUSD students.
Incidents of discrimination, harassment and racial intolerance will be met by various corrective measures available to school administrators, with a progressive discipline approach that includes modern restorative practices, appropriate punitive and/or exclusionary practices. EGUSD demands a responsive educational environment and system that facilitates appropriate corrective action, ensuring for a safe, non-discriminatory, non-harassing, and non-disruptive educational environment.
Current policies state, “Any student who feels that he/she is being discriminated against, harassed, intimidated or bullied because of actual or perceived disability, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race, ethnicity, color, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital or parental status, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics, should immediately contact the principal or designee; and if unable to contact the principal or designee, such a student should immediately contact any other member of district staff. In addition to informal resolution of complaints of discrimination, harassment, intimidation and bullying at the site level through a complaint to the site principal or designee, a written complaint can be filed in accordance with the district’s Uniform Complaint Procedures (BP 1312.3).” Policies explaining complaint procedures are available at all school sites and at the District’s Education Center.
In the event of a complaint regarding gender equity or sexual harassment, or discrimination, including harassment, intimidation and bullying because of actual or perceived disability, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race, ethnicity, color, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital or parental status, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics, students should contact one of the District’s Title IX and Nondiscrimination Coordinators.
About the Elk Grove Unified School District
The Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD) is the fifth-largest school district in California located in southern Sacramento County. EGUSD covers 320 square miles and includes 65 schools: 40 elementary schools, nine middle schools, nine high schools, five alternative education schools, an adult school, one charter school and a virtual academy. Offering a multitude of educational programs, including over 40 career-themed academies and pathways within 13 industry sectors, we prepare our students for college and career by supporting them with the means to be creative problem solvers; self-aware, self-reliant, and self-disciplined; technically literate; effective communicators and collaborators; and engaged in the community as individuals with integrity. We integrate rigorous academics with career-based learning and real world workplace experiences and strive for having every student learning in every classroom, every subject, every day.
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