The Berkeley School Board passed a United Against Hate Week In Berkeley resolution at the October 23, 2019 Board meeting. This important resolution addresses an alarming increase in fringe ideologies using hatred as a means of intimidation, as well as current political rhetoric and policy positions that are fueling the normalization of hateful racist discourse. Attacks on immigrants, synagogues, Muslims, people of color, women, the LGBTQI community, and the most vulnerable members of our community are now more frequent, resulting in an uptick in hate crimes and the open promotion of xenophobic ideas.
This past week we’ve heard fears expressed by members of our immigrant community due to the Supreme Court deliberations on the protections for immigrants under DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). The recent school shooting in Santa Clarita, while the motivations are not known, is one of all-too-many reminders of the traumatizing effects of feeling unsafe, or being targeted, in any environment, and especially at a school.
United Against Hate Week, celebrated on November 17 – 23, 2019, was created to bring communities together to learn how to respond when hate happens and build the infrastructure to keep it from happening in the first place. As a school district, we understand that real education can’t take place in a climate of fear, and strongly support this United Against Hate Week resolution.
In preparation for next week, the District has compiled resources for educators including lesson plans, book recommendations from BUSD Library Services, and a toolbox with tools to help students understand one another better and celebrate differences and strengths through listening, empathy, language, kindness, courage and caring.
Berkeley Unified School District is committed to making sure all students and staff feel safe in our schools, offices, and at District programs and events. United Against Hate Week will be acknowledged at District schools in a variety of ways. Here are a few examples:
Berkeley High School: After-School United Against Hate Rally
In collaboration with the Downtown Berkeley Association, BHS student leaders will join musical acts and civic leaders in the plaza for a free, positive after-school United Against Hate rally event. The event will include groups at booths passing out information.
Date: Thursday, November 21
Time: 3:30 – 6:00 pm
Location: Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza (2160 Shattuck Ave.)
Berkeley Technology Academy
BTA students will engage in week-long activities including a Community Breakfast, viewing a video about bullying with a subsequent conversation, an inspirational talk with Peace Keepers founder Gonzalo Rucobo, and a whole-school picture in the quad. They will wrap up the week on Friday with a movie and popcorn.
Willard Middle School – Culture Faire for Students and Families
Eighth-grade students at Willard will work in their history class to discover more about their culture and also interview family members to add to their understanding of their unique cultures. This culminates in a Culture Faire where every 8th grade student has a display board highlighting their culture. Some students dress in their traditional culture attire and others bring food that highlights their culture.
Cragmont Elementary School
Cragmont students will hold a student advocacy group meeting during a 4th and 5th grade lunch period next week. Students will also create an LGBT community bulletin board.
Malcolm X Elementary School
Malcom X students will participate in anti-bullying lessons next week. Buddy classes will making door posters together after read books together.
If you’re interested in participating in United Against Hate Week events with your family, you can download and print a Berkeley Stands United Against Hate Poster. Here is a list of United Against Hate Week events taking place in the East Bay next week.
Brent Stephens, Ed.D, Superintendent
BERKELEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
RESOLUTION NO. 20-013
RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF “United Against Hate Week in Berkeley”
WHEREAS, since January 2017, there has been an alarming increase in fringe ideologies using hatred as a means of intimidation; and
WHEREAS, numerous policy positions, from wanting to build a wall to most recently separating families at the border, combined with the actions and rhetoric of President Trump, have fueled the normalization of hateful and racist discourse; and
WHEREAS, attacks on immigrants, synagogues, Muslims, people of color, women, the LGBTQI community, and our most vulnerable are now more frequent, resulting in an uptick in hate crimes and the open promotion of xenophobic ideas; and
WHEREAS, in response to the numerous events and to clearly state our shared value, Berkeley developed the Berkeley Stands United Against Hate campaign, which was adopted by several other cities in the Bay Area, and served as a uniting and hopeful beacon amidst a challenging time, declaring our commitment to inclusivity; and
WHEREAS, to further respond to the divide currently facing our nation, cities across the Bay Area are organizing a “No Hate Week” that will take place November 17-22, 2019;
THEREFORE, the Berkeley Unified School District declares November 17-22, 2019 as “No Hate Week” and will support and encourage appropriate educational and
PASSED AND ADOPTED by Board of Education of the Berkeley Unified School District
on this 23rd day of October 2019.