Story by Georgia Parsons
Associate Feature Editor
SPUSD announced the formation of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee in February, aiming to address bias and discrimination within the five schools by reviewing district policies and practices. The committee will begin its work this year starting with inclusivity training, and will continue for the entire 2021-2022 school year.
Headed by Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services Christiane Gervais, the committee is composed of members from each of the five SPUSD campuses and will meet virtually every third Wednesday of the month to review practices and recommend any policy changes to the School Board.
The committee consists of an administrator, teacher, and parent representative from each school site, as well as a total of three middle or high school students, and two non-teacher staff members. More than 80 individuals applied for the committee, and the selected members were notified of their acceptance on Thursday, Mar. 11. Gervais declined to disclose SPHS’ representatives, citing privacy concerns.
While the DEI Committee’s tasks encompass many different issues, some committee members are already passionate about specific topics and plan to advocate for them within the group.
“I [hope to] provide good contributions as someone who is a POC and part of the LGBTQ+ community,” sophomore and committee member Samantha Lopez said. “I would really like to target gender inclusivity in education, especially starting in elementary schools, like by having more gender-neutral bathrooms throughout. I also want to work on including all ethnicities and races without tokenization.”
The DEI Committee meets first on Mar. 17, and Gervais has stated that there will be opportunities for the community to give feedback on the group’s work.