State News
November 22, 2016

State board issues statement on school safety to protect students of color

By Tiffany Danitz Pache, VTDigger
Fears and concerns after the national presidential election prompted the state Board of Education this week to a issue a statement about the need to ensure the safety of all students regardless of race, class or immigration status.
Without elaborating, Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe said there have been incidents recently that have raised concerns. She said the agency is responding by pulling together information on new Americans that clarifies their legal standing, rights and protections, as well as anti-bullying information to send out to the schools.
Stacy Weinberger, a state board member, said it is every school’s responsibility to create a healthy space.“I think it is important to be proactive and say this is an adult responsibility to create a place where a student can confide in somebody, that there is trust,” Weinberger said, choking back tears. “We can’t wait for things to happen and then respond. I think it is our responsibility.”
The state board and the Agency of Education issued the following statement to school leaders in Vermont:
“That all educators come together and ensure all our schools are safe and supportive places where all students including working class and students living in poverty and students with disabilities, new Americans and original Americans, Muslim students and students of color can focus on learning, work hard and work together to strengthen democracy and further our prosperity.”
Around the nation, educators have been responding to reports of harassment in school hallways directed against LGBT students, Muslims and others, according to CBS.

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