TRENTON – Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and Acting Department of Education (DOE) Commissioner Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan today announced the release of the “Addressing Bias in K-12 Schools” resource guide, which provides schools across New Jersey with a comprehensive plan for addressing bias in schools and offers additional resources that schools and others in the school community can use to more effectively respond to bias incidents in schools. The guide was developed by the Division on Civil Rights (DCR) in collaboration with DOE.
The “Addressing Bias in K-12 Schools” resource guide takes a whole-school approach to addressing bias, encompassing the broader school community, including students, faculty and staff, and families, both victims and perpetrators of bias incidents, as well as bystanders who witness the incidents. It places particular emphasis on offering a range of resources and steps to proactively prevent and respond to instances of bias.
“New Jersey is committed to ensuring that our students can learn without facing hate, racism, or bias in their learning environments,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “By presenting a comprehensive, proactive approach to bias incidents in schools, these recommendations provide our state’s elementary, middle, and high schools with the guidance they need to help address underlying issues and create a culture of equity and inclusion for our students to pursue their academic endeavors.”
“Keeping New Jersey students safe is our duty, and we are committed to protecting them from all forms of harm – including hate and bias,” said Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin. “The resource guide we are releasing today provides critical guidance to help our schools respond to bias incidents and work to prevent them going forward. I am grateful for the partnership of the Department of Education in creating this critical resource”
“All students deserve to feel safe, supported, and included in their learning environments,” said Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, Acting Department of Education Commissioner. “The release of this guide, in collaboration with the Division on Civil Rights, provides elementary, middle, and high schools across New Jersey with resources to protect our students from bias.”
“Hate and bias have no place in our schools, and we will continue to do everything in our power to provide our schools with the resources they need to combat hate and bias,” said Division on Civil Rights Director Sundeep Iyer. “The resource guide provides important guidance for school administrators, teachers, and others in the school community on how best to prevent bias incidents and how to respond in the aftermath of a bias incident.”
The guide is part of a series of resources and initiatives that DCR, DOE, and other partner agencies from the Interagency Task Force to Combat Youth Bias have been working to publish since the Task Force’s comprehensive report and recommendations were published in October 2020. Most recently, in February, DCR partnered with the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education to develop the “Addressing Bias Incidents on Campus” resource guide, which highlights key state resources and actions dedicated to achieving the goal of safer campuses.
The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights enforces the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, the New Jersey Family Leave Act, and the Fair Chance in Housing Act, and works to prevent, eliminate, and remedy discrimination and bias-based harassment in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation throughout New Jersey.
To find out more information, go to www.njcivilrights.gov.