We are thrilled to share with you that yesterday during our high school assembly, student leaders Ajahni, Natalie, Marcus, and Malia presented the Student Anti-Discrimination Policy they we have been working on for the past few months.
A little history on this project. Two years ago, students from various affinity groups began working with teachers to craft a policy that would help students navigate situations of discrimination that occur within the student body. This summer, student leaders Ajahni and Marcus crafted a letter, signed by all student leaders in the high school, requesting that we work to get this policy into action as soon as possible. In July, the student leaders mentioned above started meeting with Margaret, Allison, and Charlene Cruz-Cerdas, our High School DEI Facilitator, to complete the drafting of the policy. In concert and close conversation with Phil, these students put hours and hours into this plan.
It is so hard to put into words here all that has transpired in this process. From an educational perspective, this project is a beautiful example of progressive practice--students and teachers engaging in meaningful work on behalf of the school community, the team working collaboratively on the concept and the draft, and grappling together about the complexities of policy as it comes to life in practice.
It is also an example of one of our core beliefs--that student voice is at the very center of all that we do. As adults, we could have drafted a fairly decent policy, but with a team of seniors driving the work we now have a beautiful document to guide us in the work of being a safe, just, and equitable community for each person who enters the door.
The guiding principles of the policy form the acronym C.A.R.E.S.--Community, Accountability, Reconciliation, Education, Students. These five words have directed the design and ideas for implementation and use. We invite you to review the new, working version of our Student Anti-Discrimination Policy here
. Please know that we value the iterative process of bringing a policy into practice with students, and thus we expect for this draft to be revised along the way. This policy will be posted on the High School Resources page, along with our Student Handbook and our Sexual Harassment Policy.
In closing, want to express our profound gratitude to Marcus, Leilani, Ajahni, and Natalie for their time, intellect, tenacity, patience and generosity they have brought to this work. We are better teachers and leaders because of the time we have spent together on this project.