One Antiracist Action You Can Take Today: Know The Discrimination Kids Are Experiencing In Schools
As we start 2023, I want to take a moment to reflect on the experiences of youth in schools in the last year. A recent article from the New York Times describes the record number of discrimination complaints filed with the Department of Education. “Officials say the complaints — most alleging discrimination based on disability, race or sex — reflect grievances that amassed during the worst public health crisis in a century and the most divisive civil rights climate in decades.”
“In both cases the reforms included educating students to recognize and report discrimination, and training school staff in how to respond to it. In Iowa, the district also agreed to reimburse the parents of the Black student for therapy the student needed as a result of the harassment.
The majority of complaints in the past year, as in previous years, allege discrimination against students with disabilities — a population whose plight became more visible during the pandemic when schools drew federal scrutiny for failing to serve such students during school closures.
In Colorado, advocates filed complaints citing a range of violations, including segregating disabled students from their peers in dilapidated trailers. In Arizona, complaints allege that disabled students were bullied by other students and staff members and disproportionately disciplined for disability-related behavior.”
“The department also saw a sharp increase in the number of complaints alleging transgender and gender-identity discrimination in violation of Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.
L.G.B.T.Q. rights advocates say that the complaint volume reflects both the heightened visibility of the population and the backlash over laws that are designed to protect them. In recent years, conservatives have zeroed in on transgender rights as a culture war issue, and state leaders have rushed to file hundreds of bills targeting transgender people. Such efforts have not only fueled more harassment of students based on their gender identity and sexual orientation, but has also had a chilling effect on educators’ willingness to stop it, advocates say.”
Read more in the link below and make a resolution to take action in your local schools and support our clients as they navigate their schools in 2023.