What Does The Community Say?

Nothing about us without us means you can't help a community's children if you never speak to the community.

Photo of Worokya Duncan
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Let's think about the rollout of ideas as large as a new curriculum, or as seemingly benign as a uniform policy. Often, these plans are made in a vacuum, where those most affected are never invited to the conversation. You cannot serve if you will not listen. Ask families what matters to them. Ask them what the impacts would be if changes were or were not made. They want to participate. Ask. Then, listen to understand.

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Various stories have come out about hair regulations in schools. The bias toward a European standard of beauty and hair design is the foundation for the regulations, and it serves to undermine the humanity of those who will never, and should never aspire to align with those standards. Families and students are left feeling violated, and all best practices indicate that children will not thrive where their humanity is threatened. School professionals need anti-bias training in word & deed.

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Photo of Jill Jensen
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I love the idea of bringing in the people affected by policies into the creation of them! As a teacher, I feel like we have many ideas of how to best create effective learning environments. In addition, when policies are made without input, in can lead to uneven interpretation as well as enforcement of them, creating confusion.