At any point this month, have you reported your colleagues or friends over “incidents of bias”?
If not, you perhaps don’t attend or work for Wellesley Public Schools (WPS).
The Massachusetts school district’s introduced a system by which students and faculty may tell on one another for undesirable othering.
WPS is comprised of pre-K through high school locations in Boston, and the plan comes courtesy of its Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Per a copy of the policy purportedly obtained by DefendingEd.org, a biased incident’s defined thusly:
Any biased conduct, speech or expression that has an impact but may not involve criminal action, but demonstrates conscious or unconscious bias that targets individuals or groups that are part of a federally protected class (ie. race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, or disability).
Make sure you don’t dip your toes into difference:
Bias-based behavior can also be described as when someone treats another person differently…
Additionally covered: making “an offensive comment because of [a person’s] membership in a protected group, such as their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or disability.”
It sounds as if everyone’s a protected species.
Provided examples of violations:
- Using a slur or insult toward a student or their family based on their membership in a protected group;
- Telling rude jokes that mock a protected group in person or through any electronic device
- Disciplining a student more often or more harshly because of their membership in a protected group
- Not allowing students to participate in an activity because of their membership in a protected group
Students, staff, and parents are encouraged to report.
All incidents will be investigated; WPS lays out the steps:
- Notify the individuals involved (including the families of students)
- Interview witnesses
- Determine if a violation of school policy has occurred
- Respond appropriately with consequences as well as support for those impacted by the incident
“When relevant,” the policy notes, “if a hate crime has been committed, the Anti-Defamation League will be notified, as will the Wellesley Police Department.”
Potential punishment for students:
Acknowledgement may be in order as well:
- Other restorative responses that require them to acknowledge their responsibility and minimize its impact.
For employees, discipline might include “a process of formal warnings and reprimands, suspension, or more serious consequences.”
Non-staff adult community members may be sanctioned by limiting or ending their participation in WPS community activities or ending their ability to be on WPS premises.
Faculty for the 2020-21 school year have been required to pass a test following “Equity Protocols” training.
The lesson covers explicit and implicit bias and designate the difference between a “bias-based incident” and a “hate crime.”
Furthermore, it indicates protected categories, which include — not just race and national origin, but — “color.”
“Gender” and “gender identity” are listed separately.
And workers are informed they have an “obligation to report.”
So goes a glimpse into public schools.
In the name of diversity and inclusion, will unity result?
Rules are important, and bullying should never be allowed.
Also: Cult leaders are known to assert control via the division created by a snitching culture.
There’s a line somewhere there — where’s America sitting?
Wherever that is, I’d say we should expect to scoot further toward “observe and report” in the coming years.
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