The Niskayuna Central School District is committed to an anti-racist approach to public education to ensure a learning environment that is free from hate and the legacy of school segregation for all students and staff. The District takes a strong position against systemic and institutional racism and will review existing policies and practices from an action-oriented approach, to complement existing diversity, equity and inclusion policies.
In accordance with the District’s Code of Conduct, racist symbols (e.g. confederate flag, Nazi swastikas, symbols of the Ku Klux Klan) that actually disrupt or are reasonably forecasted to disrupt the learning environment, including those that contain language or images that are discriminatory, are recognized to promote hate or violent conduct, or contain threats, will not be tolerated in our schools and on school property.
In the past, the display of such imagery on school grounds has disrupted the learning environment and created unease in the community.
The District further:
- Recognizes that students of all ages are able to talk about bias, race, and the impacts of racism;
- Commits to implementing anti-racist programs and training;
- Commits to correcting practices and policies that perpetuate opportunity gaps and institutional racism in all aspects of the functioning of the District;
- Encourages every decision-making group in the District to recommend additional anti-racist practices within the school district to the board policy committee, including but not limited to requiring district policies and accountability measures that are anti-racist and equitable.
In accordance with these commitments, the District will:
- Implement anti-racist programs for students at all levels;
- Provide opportunities for bias awareness and anti-racist training districtwide;
- Identify barriers that prevent the District from increasing the diversity in District employment and programs, including in advanced academic programs, and develop and implement a plan to address those barriers;
- Review District curriculum, instructional materials and resources to ensure the inclusion of racially and culturally relevant content.
The implementation of this policy is the shared responsibility of all District stakeholders. The Superintendent shall annually report the progress toward achieving the actions outlined in this policy, the Code of Conduct and the Equity in Education Policy, in tandem, to the Board of Education, District faculty and staff, District students, families and the community at large.
A representative sample of the terms used in this policy include:
Racism is different from racial prejudice, hatred, or discrimination. Racism involves one group having the power to carry out systematic discrimination through the institutional policies and practices of the society and by shaping the cultural beliefs and values that support those racist policies and practices.
Anti-Racism is defined as the work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life. Anti-racism tends to be an individualized approach, and set up in opposition to individual racist behaviors and impacts.
An anti-racist is someone who is supporting an antiracism policy through their actions or expressing antiracist ideas. This includes the expression or ideas that racial groups are equals and do not need developing, and supporting policies that reduce racial inequity.
Minutes Board of Education Meeting November 11, 2020
Policy 7500 Equity in Education
Policy 3420 Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School District
Policy 7500 Dignity for All Students
District Code of Conduct
Adopted November 17, 2020