In the recent LTE by Susan Renton, she erroneously combines equity with preferential treatment of certain identity groups. Equity is not about giving preferential treatment to some people over others, but about ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to succeed, regardless of their background. This means providing everyone with the resources and support they need to reach their full potential.
I agree with Douglas County School Board Director Susan Meek that it is important to have a community conversation about how to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all students. I believe that the educational equity policy is a good starting point for this conversation. The policy affirms the district’s commitment to providing an inclusive culture where each and every student feels safe and valued, and recognizes that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
I disagree with Ms. Renton that the equity policy encourages divisive behavior. In fact, I believe that it can help to create a more inclusive environment by raising awareness of the different experiences and perspectives of diverse students and staff. It can also help to create a more equitable learning environment by ensuring that all students have the same opportunities to succeed in DCSD schools.
I believe that one of the best ways to counteract an “us vs. them” mentality is to teach people about diversity and inclusion, with open and honest conversations, which can help to build understanding, tolerance, and respect between different groups of people.
We need to teach our children about the facts and history of racism and discrimination, and we need to create a safe space for them to talk about their experiences. We also need to make sure that our schools are adequately staffed with teachers and administrators who are trained to effectively intervene when bullying behaviors arise.
I believe that by working together, we can create a school district where all students feel safe, valued, and respected.