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Niskayuna schools ban Confederate flag, hate symbols

Nov 24, 2020 2:15 pm
Rachel Silberstein is reporting for the Times Union the Niskayuna Board of Education has banned the Confederate flag in district schools. The board last week approved prohibitions on displays of Confederate flags and other hate symbols as part of a new policy designed to address opportunity gaps and increase anti-racist programming in school. The policy was first proposed in July in response to a letter signed by nearly 75 Niskayuna teachers and staff who called on the board to ban Confederate symbols from school grounds. They argued the images were disruptive to the learning environment. "I don't think there was a single event; it has been brewing over time," Niskayuna board president Howard Schlossberg said November 23. "The students and faculty had been talking and I think it just reached a critical mass, and they said it's time to put this out and start talking about this." Board members unanimously approved the policy which commits the district to anti-racist programs and training, correcting practices that perpetuate opportunity gaps, and encourages “every decision-making group in the district to recommend additional anti-racist practices within the school district to the board policy committee.” The district will implement anti-racist programs for students at all levels, provide opportunities for bias awareness and anti-racist training districtwide, identify and address barriers that prevent the district from increasing diversity in employment and programs, and review curriculum, instructional materials and resources to ensure the inclusion of racially and culturally relevant content. Read the full story in the Times Union.