TCAPS Board Passes Antiracism Resolution
By Beth Milligan | July 27, 2021
After a five-hour meeting Monday in which all other non-necessary agenda items were removed to accommodate extended public and board comment on a proposed antiracism resolution, Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) board trustees approved the resolution by a 7-0 vote.
The passed resolution was the fourth and final draft attempt following three previous versions, which generated hours of public comment over the course of several meetings since May, as well as national headlines. A majority of public commenters Monday supported a third version of the resolution included by Board President Scott Newman-Bale in the meeting packet for discussion. After listening to three hours of public comment, board trustees tweaked that version to come up with a final fourth version that notably eliminated any references to critical race theory and condemned "racism and all other forms of discrimination, harassment, and bullying." The resolution also calls for the formation of a District Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) subcommittee to be filled through a "fair" and "transparent" appointment process that will listen to a wide range of viewpoints, including "those who have been historically underrepresented."
The final resolution version, which is included in its entirety below, was approved unanimously by the board.
TCAPS ANTIRACISM RESOLUTION
TCAPS Board of Education resolution condemning racism and all other forms of discrimination, harassment, and bullying; and affirming our commitment to an inclusive school environment for all.
WHEREAS, as Trustees of the TCAPS Board of Education, we are committed to providing an inclusive and safe learning environment that promotes equity and opportunity for all members of our staff, students, parents, and community regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity and gender expression, sexual orientation, social and economic class, religion, physical and/or mental capabilities, age and body type;
WHEREAS, we acknowledge that racism and other forms of discrimination, harassment, and bullying exist in our community;
WHEREAS, we recognize the value of understanding and appreciating human diversity and inclusion as essential and enriching to learning and living the ideals of a free and democratic society;
WHEREAS, TCAPS is working to be a leader in educational equity and TCAPS defines equity as offering all students the opportunities, resources and support they need to attain their full potential. TCAPS will strive for all students to achieve grade level proficiency, allowing students who are struggling academically more resources and support to succeed, and those who excel academically, additional opportunities (e.g. TAG, Honors and AP Courses) to succeed;
WHEREAS, we must lead because we have an individual and collective responsibility for creating and encouraging a positive, supportive, learning environment where every student and staff member is treated with fairness, dignity, and respect and is valued for who they are and the uniqueness they bring to the learning environment;
WHEREAS, we are committed to learn. We acknowledge that we have much to learn. We will build and strengthen trust with those who we serve, and model acceptance of all people. We will continue to hold the expectation of fair treatment of people of all races and human and civil rights. As a world class educational institution, we are committed to support and make available ongoing professional development opportunities for TCAPS and our community;
WHEREAS, we affirm our continued commitment to evaluating, implementing and enforcing our current policies and practices to prevent and respond to any reported incidents of discrimination, harassment and bullying;
Now, therefore be it resolved, the Board of Education affirms the formation of a District Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) subcommittee which supports an appointment process that is fair, transparent, and listens to all viewpoints to confirm that all voices are heard and commits to evaluting its findings and recommendations; which may include and is not limited to the following; understanding the viewpoints of those who have been historically underrepresented and recognizing potential biases and prejudices that could lead to discrimination.
Now, therefore be it resolved, on the 26th day of July, 2021, by the TCAPS Board of Education that we condemn racism and all forms of discrimination, harassment, and bullying and stand steadfast in our commitment to foster a diverse and inclusive educational environment where every student, staff member, parent, and community member is treated with fairness, dignity and respect.Comment