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Going Deeper: Implementation

CDE Equity Toolkit - Appendix - A book shelf full of books with one laying open.


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Responding Immediately to Racial and Other Bias-Based Incidents

An example process for restoring community after bias-based incidents.

Purpose: When an incidence of racial or other harm has occurred either in person or through social media, utilize this example Identity-Based Harm protocol.

Identity-Based Harm Protocol

Focus on Safety First

  • Determine and remove any students affected to a safe spot.
  • Determine and remove any staff affected to a safe spot.
  • Assemble a student support team.
  • Assess the need for increased supervision.


First Communication

  • Contact the superintendent regarding the issue. Include the director of human resources if a staff member is involved.
  • Provide precommunication with staff.
  • Call appropriate administrator or staff member.
    • Alert them to the situation.
  • For BIPOC families or other families depending on the nature of the identity-based harm
    • Share information, and let them know the investigation is just starting.
    • Stress that this is being taken seriously.
    • Apologize for harm that has been done.
  • For accused families
    • Share information, and let them know the investigation is just starting.
    • Share that discipline decisions will be communicated pending further investigation.



  • Initiate fact-finding to better understand the situation. 
    • Documented notes should include statements from affected students and witnesses.
    • Utilize administrator-led standardized questions.
    • Collect statements from any and all victims and accused


Second Communication

  • Administrator(s) work with the communication team to provide clear and timely communication to necessary partners, families, school staff and district administration
    • Denounce the act: This is unacceptable and does not represent the values of our school.
    • Include translation into multiple languages.   
    • Send communication through phone, text and email.
    • Identify places to go for additional information (district/school website).
      • Reference to district policies and the student handbook.
  • Provide talking points (two to three bullets) for office staff.


Support Impacted Individuals

  • Building administrator identifies a listening space for conversations to occur.
  • Hold healing circles that day or the following day, as needed.
  • Involve social workers, counselors, student support-team members, teachers and case managers to support targeted and offended students based on needs assessment for targeted and offended students.
  • Support impacted adults through administrative team.
  • Support parents through staff and administration.


Rebuilding Relationships and Promoting Healing

  • Determine the next steps of action with additional staff, students, families based on the magnitude of the act.
  • Have follow-up activities or responses for classrooms/grade levels/whole school, as necessary, depending upon scope of event.
  • Debrief the incident, and reflect on actions taken, actions still needed and proactive work to prevent future harm.
  • Meet with family to support student return to school after any discipline removal related to the event.
  • Provide restorative circles opportunities that focus on active listening, authentic learning and rebuilding community. 
  • Seek to restore through the rebuilding of relationships with feedback from community members.
  • Develop a safety plan to transition victims and offenders back to their classes.
  • Monitor victims and offenders for social and academic needs.

Family Partnerships

Research Findings on Family and Community Engagement

  1. Decades of research show when families are involved, students demonstrate higher grades, test scores and graduation rates, better school attendance, increased motivation, better self‐esteem, lower rates of suspension, decreased use of drugs and alcohol, fewer instances of violent behavior (National Parent Teacher Association).
  2. Family participation in education is twice as predictive of students’ academic success as family socioeconomic status. Some of the more intensive programs had effects that were 10 times greater than other factors (Herbert J. Walberg in his review of 29 studies of school-parent Programs, 1984).
  3. School benefits of family participation include improved teacher morale, higher ratings of teachers by families, more support from families, higher student achievement, better reputations in the community (A New Generation of Evidence: The Family is Critical to Student Achievement, Anne T. Henderson and Nancy Berla, Center for Law and Education, Washington, D.C., 1996). 
  4. Family involvement leads to feelings of ownership, resulting in increased support of schools. (Low-Income Parents and the Schools: A Research Report and a Plan for Action, Don Davies,. 1988). 
  5. Families express a genuine and deep‐seated desire to help their children succeed academically, regardless of differences in socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity and cultural background. (Mapp, Adapted from the Michigan Department of Education Parental Engagement Policy, 1999). 


Resources to Support Family and Community Engagement


Resources to Support Partnering with Immigrant and Newcomer Families

Culturally Responsive Teaching within Best, First Instruction

Research and best practices for culturally responsive teaching


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