MUSD Non-discrimination/Harassment Resources
We would like to recognize that most would view our McKinleyville Schools and Community as welcoming and inclusive. Unfortunately, this is not always the case for everyone. To this end, we would like to remind everyone, students, families and staff alike, that we have a Non Discrimination/Harassment Policy. We prohibit discriminatory harassment, intimidation, bullying, targeted at any student by anyone, based on the student’s actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, nationality, national origin, immigration status, ethnic group identification, ethnicity, age, religion, marital status, pregnancy, parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identify, gender expression or genetic information, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.
Our schools and our community need to be places where all are welcomed and experience inclusion. We are outreaching to you to ask for your support in helping to educate your child(ren) about the importance of not only abiding by our MUSD District Policies but in helping to educate our young ones about the importance of being kind, compassionate and considerate along with reinforcing to them that harassment and/or discrimination have no place in our schools or broader community.
One of the obstacles to having an open conversation about discrimination/harassment, race and homophobia is the tendency to downplay things as not “truly” or “really” discriminatory. This belief can actually encourage prejudice. Discrimination and harassment are as much about impact as it is about intention. We need our students and community to stand up and stand in for those who are on the receiving end of discrimination and expect more from those who are engaging in such behaviors.
Why Should we Care About Discrimination and Harassment?
- Both can marginalize, denigrate or humiliate those who experience it. Harm can occur even if the conduct isn't motivated by hate or malice.
- Research demonstrates that discrimination and harassment can have adverse effects on people's physical and mental health. It can cause anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and high blood pressure.
- Discrimination and harassment can also exclude victims from our schools, community and wider society. It sends a message that they aren't welcome. It reinforces social barriers and attacks the dignity of the victim as an equal member of society. It can undermine civility and social cohesion.
What Can You Do?
- Talk with your child(ren) about the critical importance of respectful interactions between one another that are free from discriminatory or harassment types of behavior. Review the attached Board Policy with them and discuss what it means.
- Model being an ally for individuals who are on the receiving end of such inappropriate behavior and encourage your child to do the same. This can take many forms including, notifying an adult when inappropriate behaviors or words are observed/overheard, stepping in and asking the harasser to stop, inviting the victim to walk away with peer support, being part of a diversity club or group to show your support and more.
- Explain that these expectations are not only held by the school but are typically held by Law Enforcement, Colleges and Employers.
What is MUSD Doing?
- We are engaging in on-going Expectations Stations at all of our schools reiterating our expectation that discrimination, harassment and bullying are not acceptable.
- We are facilitating Restorative Practices and/or Counseling Supports, when appropriate, between those involved in such behavior both as the perpetrator and the victim.
- We will hold students accountable to our Board Policies. Students who engage in these types of behaviors, shall be subject to appropriate consequences or discipline, which may include suspension or expulsion when the behavior is severe or pervasive as defined by Education Code 48900.4.
MUSD is committed to ensuring every student and family feels welcome and included within our school and broader community. We have compiled a list of resources to assist families and staff to have meaningful conversations with their children around issues of equity, inclusion, race and more.