Addressing Instances of Hate and Bias
Summary: SPS stands against all forms of intolerance, bullying, and harassment.
Creating Welcoming Schools to Ensure Students Feel Welcomed and Safe
Seattle Public Schools believes that having a school community where your child feels safe and respected, regardless of race, religion, gender, immigration status, language, sexual orientation, political view, social economic standing, or ability, is an important foundation to their academic success.
SPS is committed to advancing inclusion and belonging for all of our families. We stand against all forms of intolerance, bullying, and harassment. This letter provides additional resources for students, families, staff, and community to address instances of hate and bias.
Each school and school leader have been provided with information on staff reporting requirements; steps for family, school, and community engagement; the investigation process; and development of a plan for moving the school community forward after an incident.
Across the city and state, we have seen an increase in hate speech and crimes in the form of discrimination, police brutality, institutionalized racism, anti-Asian and anti-Blackness, among other incidents, that has created tragic loss of life for members of our community. Seattle Public Schools feels deeply for any members of our community who continue to experience the hurt, anxiety, uncertainty, and fear from these unwarranted acts.
It is clear we have an opportunity to be a force for change within schools and communities — and we are taking an important step forward by creating movements and initiatives that align with Board Policy 0030 to combat bias, racism, and violence in our district.
Steps to Report Incidents of Hate or Bias
If your child feels overwhelmed or afraid due to recent events, please encourage them to talk with a trusted adult at school or at home. If you or your child were to witness, become aware of, or be the target of harassment, intimidation, violence, and/or discrimination, we ask that you act immediately.
The following list includes some of the steps you may take:
- Call 911 if you are the victim of a crime (including hate speech and hate crimes) on your way to or from school, and notify the school as soon as you can.
- Inform a school leader if the event takes place at a school or during an SPS program, service, or activity.
- Contact the Washington State Commission if you want to report hate incidents. The Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific America Affairs has developed resources for reporting hate and discrimination.
- Use the SPS Office of Student Civil Rights webpage to report instances of harassment, intimidation, and bullying.
Below are a variety of resources that are available for our students and families should you need additional support:
- Information Media & Reporting Hate Incidents: The Chinese Information and Service Center-Seattle website (CISC-Seattle) shares information including informational flyers and videos about hate and bias. Their content is available in Vietnamese, Mandarin, and Cantonese.
- Responding to Bullying: The U.S. government website Stop Bullying provides resources to guide discussions you may wish to have with your children about what they can do in response to bullying they experience or witness.
- Anti-Racism Resources: Resources for talking to children about race and racism.
Reporting Concerns to District’s Office of Student Civil Rights
How to report concerns of discrimination
If you believe that you or an SPS student has been discriminated against within a district service, program, or activity, the concern may be reported to a school leader or the district’s Office of Student Civil Rights, 206-252-0306 or OSCR@seattleschools.org. If a staff member believes they have been discriminated against, they may report the concern to the Labor and Employee Relations Team within Human Resources via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contacts Outside of the District
If you would like to talk with someone outside of the district about concerns of discrimination you may contact:
Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s Equity & Civil Rights Office, 360-725-6162, email@example.com
U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, 206-607-1600, OCR.Seattle@ed.gov
Where we stand today will not limit how far we can go.
Sincerely, James Bush
Chief of Equity, Partnerships & Engagement
Seattle Public Schools