Limestone Community School rejects all forms of racism as destructive to the school’s mission, vision, values, and goals. The board and staff of Limestone Community School are committed to the following principles:
- Establishing and sustaining a school community that shares the collective responsibility to address, eliminate, and prevent actions, decisions, and outcomes that result from and perpetuate racism.
- Eliminating inequitable practices and cultivating the unique gifts, talents, and interests of every child to end the predictive value of social or cultural factors, such as race, class, or gender, on student success.
- Respecting and championing the diversity and life experiences of all community members to support the school division’s mission, vision, values, goals, and objectives.
- Acknowledging that racism is often compounded by other forms of discrimination, including, but not limited to sexism, homophobia, classism, abelism, transphobia and xenophobia.
Personal and institutional racism have historically existed and continue to exist in our country and community. Combating racism in our school is a legal and moral imperative.
Equity gaps exist because of inequitable access to opportunities that have significant intergenerational effects and perpetuate economic, social, and educational inequity. However, racial inequities were created over time and can be eliminated. Similarly, personal prejudice is learned and can be unlearned. Educators play a vital role in reducing racism and inequity by recognizing the manifestations of racism, creating culturally inclusive learning and working environments, and dismantling educational systems that directly or indirectly perpetuate racism and privilege through teaching, policy, and practice.
Definitions adapted from:
Government Alliance on Race and Equity at www.racialequityalliance.org
National Education Association at www.nea.org
Anti-racism: the practice of identifying, challenging, and changing the values, structures, and behaviors that perpetuate systemic racism.
Individual racism: pre-judgment, bias, or discrimination by an individual based on race. Individual racism includes both privately held beliefs, conscious and unconscious, and external behaviors and actions towards others.
Institutional racism: occurs within institutions and organizations, such as schools, that adopt and maintain policies, practices, and procedures that often unintentionally produce inequitable outcomes for people of color and advantages for white people.
Structural (or systemic) racism: encompasses the history and current reality of institutional racism across all institutions and society. It refers to the history, culture, ideology, and interactions of institutions and policies that perpetuate a system of inequity that is detrimental to communities of color.
Implicit Bias: the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
- Encompass both favorable and unfavorable assessments.
- Are activated involuntarily without an individual’s awareness.
- Not accessible through introspection.
- Lead to feelings and attitudes about other people based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, age, and appearance.
- Develop over a lifetime beginning at a very early age through exposure to direct and indirect messages.
Microaggressions: verbal, behavioral, or environmental slights that are the results of an individual’s implicit bias. They are often automatic or unintentional and occur on a daily basis. Microaggressions communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative viewpoints. The use of microaggressions perpetuate a worldview of White Supremacy Culture.
Stereotype: a widely held but oversimplified belief about a particular type of person or group. It happens when someone groups individuals together based on some factor and makes a judgment about them without knowing them.
These regulations are designed to dismantle the individual, institutional, and structural racism that exists in our community. Limestone Community School commits to the following actions:
- We shall post a public statement against racism in a location visible to students, staff, and visitors entering the school, as well as on our website. The public statement shall read: “Limestone Community School is committed to establishing and sustaining an equitable community that seeks to end the predictive value of race and ensure each individual student’s and staff’s success. Limestone Community School rejects all forms of racism as destructive to our mission, vision, values, and goals.”
- The school shall operate utilizing an anti-racism framework. A racially diverse school board and staff will be strongly encouraged. The school board and staff shall promote equity and diversity within the school.
- This Anti-Racism Policy will help guide the future planning of our school.
- When appropriate, the director and/or board will invite students and families to provide input and feedback on school accountability in regards to this anti-racism commitment. The perspectives of people of color will be prioritized so as to intentionally yield power to those most affected by racism in our school community.
- This policy shall be included in the handbook provided to families.
Leadership and Administration
Limestone Community School shall address systemic racism as follows:
- The school shall implement alternative discipline processes, such as restorative justice, to reduce racial disparities in discipline.
- When school staff determine a student has committed a racist act, the student shall be provided the opportunity to learn about the impact of their actions on others through such practices as restorative justice, mediation, role play or other explicit policies or training resources.
Curriculum and Instruction
- Curriculum and instructional materials for all grades shall reflect cultural and racial diversity and include a range of perspectives and experiences, particularly those of historically underrepresented groups of color.
- All curriculum materials shall be examined for racial bias by staff. Where materials reflect racial bias, teachers utilizing the materials will acknowledge the bias and communicate it to students and parents.
- The school shall incorporate anti-racist educational resources for students at every grade level.
- Student in-class and extra-curricular programs and activities shall be designed to provide opportunities for cross-cultural and cross-racial interactions to foster respect for cultural and racial diversity.
- Academic enrichment programs (including field trips, special school speakers, etc) shall examine the history and contributions of people of color whenever possible.
- All staff shall be trained in this anti-racism policy.
- All staff shall be trained in cultural awareness and/or culturally responsive teaching practices.
- All staff shall be trained about racism and about how racism produces inequitable practices and outcomes.
- The school shall ensure there are various, including anonymous, means for students, families, and staff to report incidents of racism and other forms of discrimination.
- The board and staff recognize that confronting implicit bias is an ongoing and sometimes uncomfortable process. This is not a zero-tolerance policy; when we know better, we do better.
- Limestone Community School strives to be an equitable and safe space for all learners and staff. We will continually call out acts of racism in all their forms in our school community, and help offending individuals to expose and challenge their implicit biases through conversation and by offering educational resources on the topic of anti-racism.
- Repeat offenses and an unwillingness towards introspection and re-learning may result in families being asked to leave our school community.
This text was adapted from the Albemarle County Public Schools Policy on Antiracism, Albemarle, VA https://www.k12albemarle.org/our-division/anti-racism-policy/policy
Resources for further learning
DiAngelo, Robin. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Boston: Beacon Press, 2018.
Kendi, Ibram X. How to Be an Antiracist. New York: One World, 2019.
Many Helping Hands 365. “Antiracist Children’s Literature.” April 1st, 2022. https://manyhelpinghands365.org/posts/antiracist-childrens-literature/
McGhee, Heather. The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together. New York: One World, 2021.
Saad, Layla F. Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor.
Tatum, Beverly Daniel. Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations about Race. New York: Basic Books, 2003.
Wilkerson, Isabel. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. New York: Random House, 2020.