Howard County Anti-Discrimination Policies up for Revision

By Caderyn Delker
Staff Writer

Last March, community members and Howard County administrators came together and began working on a committee dedicated to the revision of “Policy 1010”, HoCo’s current anti-discrimination policy. Policy 1010 contains all of Howard County’s procedures pertaining to harassment and discrimination within our schools. Previously, Policy 1010 lacked specific language to protect students from discrimination on the basis of immigration status or gender identity.

Diversity.jpg

Students agree that diversity is important at Hammond (Left to Right: Carson Long, Madhu Nallani, Joel Olujide, Isabelle Dyson)

At each meeting, committee members carefully combed through Policy 1010, making edits, broadening its applications, and taking pointers from other counties’ policies in order to revise and improve our own. Membership consists of carefully recommended student representatives, parents, and teachers from all over the county.

Dr. Gina Massella, Director of Shared Accountability and Director of High Schools, believes the committee is “making considerable efforts to hear what the community is saying about important issues.” Many of the changes to the policy are simple edits in order to use more inclusive language, but others are more substantial, such as one revision that will require administration to act on reports of discrimination/harassment within one school day of the report’s submission.

Dr. Massella also expressed that she hopes “students will feel empowered to be who they are and that more students will feel a sense of community” in response to the changes being made.  Dr. Massella emphasized that “there are clear procedures in place to protect students from discrimination. Students must know the steps involved to advocate for a safe environment for all students and the larger HCPSS community.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s