Resources for Responding to Harassment and Discrimination at School
A report from the Southern Poverty Law Center shows an increase in the use of slurs and derogatory language in schools since Election Day—along with disturbing incidents involving swastikas, Nazi salutes, and Confederate flags. The report also found more than 2,500 specific incidents of bigotry and harassment directly related to election rhetoric, including assaults on both students and teachers and acts of vandalism depicting hate symbols and speech.
Teachers are already taking important steps to address and stop this wave of intolerance. Below are some additional resources compiled by NEA to help you.
- Students Have the Right to a Safe School: Guidance from NEA for Educators and Parents
Numerous laws provide that students have the right to be free from discrimination or harassment based on their actual or perceived race, national origin, gender (including gender identity and sexual orientation), religion, or disability—and the law requires schools to take steps to ensure that students have a safe school environment.
- NEA’s Anti-Harassment and Discrimination Tool Kit
Details federal civil rights prohibitions against harassment and discrimination in employment and how to enforce those prohibitions.
- Dear Colleague Letter: Harassment Based on Race, Religion, or National Origin
From the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights.
- Twenty Plus Things Schools Can Do to Respond to or Prevent Hate Incidents Against Arab-Americans, Muslims, and Sikhs
From the U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service.
- Programs for Managing School Multicultural Conflict
Describes the programs offered by the U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service for schools and districts. Program areas of focus include mediation, conciliation, technical assistance, and training for community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color, and national origin and to prevent and respond to violent hate crimes committed on the basis of protected characteristics.
- Equity Assistance Center Program and Contacts
Equity Assistance Centers are funded by the U.S. Department of Education to provide technical assistance and training, upon request, in the areas of race, sex, national origin, and religion to public school districts to promote equitable education opportunities. Contact your regional center for assistance to help schools and communities ensure that equitable education opportunities are available and accessible for all children.
- Dear Colleague Letter: Harassment and Bullying
From the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights. Explains the responsibility of schools to provide students with a safe, bully free, and non-harassing environment.
- Dear Colleague Letter: Sexual Violence
From the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights. Explains Title IX protections and requirements, and the obligations of schools to respond to sexual harassment and sexual violence.