Our initiative is to build a school community where anti-racism thrives, black lives matter, and racial and ethnic diversity is embraced.
By The Steering Committe
This summer we learned from Black alumni and students that racial harassment occurs in the Coronado schools. Parents, students, teachers, and coaches spoke out and demanded that the school immediately stop allowing this. We called for a ban on racial slurs and any form of harassment and to fire teachers who violate this new guideline.
We expected a strong anti-harassment policy to be rolled out this Fall. Instead, not enough has been done to address this. A broader effort with leadership and clear communication is urgently needed.
Here is how we suggest CUSD build a strong policy to ensure our students are free from harassment:
Use clear language in the Disciplinary Action Guide (DAG) to ban slurs and harassment. In September, you added “the use of biased language” into the DAG: this language is confusing and vague. You must make the new guideline explicitly clear by stating “racial slurs and any form of harassment based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or abilities is banned”.
Use equity to determine the discipline level. The DAG already set the disciplinary standard at a Level 4 when emotional distress is caused by cyberbullying. Since harassment also causes emotional distress, apply the same standard. Add a Level 4 discipline to the new anti-harassment guideline.
Reach out to BlPOC in our school community to learn how the current complaint process could improve so that students will use it and ask how to help students if they are harassed.
Add an online option on your website where students can report any hate-based incidents.
Inform all Principals and Vice Principals. Meet with your leaders and inform them of past violations, why you created the new anti-harassment policy, the consistent discipline that will be applied, and that they will be held accountable for teaching all staff about this new policy.
Write a strong, clear policy for all teachers and staff stating that using racial slurs is unacceptable and termination will result if this policy is violated. Adults must be held accountable to model the behavior we want from our students.
Ask teachers and coaches what kind of training they need to teach no tolerance of racial harassment. We learned racial harassment happens in the classroom, on the playground, in the cafeteria, on the sports teams, and in the online breakout sessions during distance learning.
Train your coaches. Coaches and players told us of racial harassment in CUSD sports teams. Train coaches about the new anti-harassment policy and informs them they will be held accountable for consistently disciplining players who commit violations.
Keep students and parents informed as these actions are taken. You do not need a two-year equity planning process to implement these changes. One student’s complaint is enough to be a catalyst for change, you’ve heard from multiple parents, alumni, and students. There is no excuse to delay, and we are here to support you if, and when needed. We care deeply that all our students are treated with respect. Show leadership to ensure this happens by clearly communicating a new, strong anti-harassment policy to all students, parents, staff, coaches, and principals.