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Racism-Free Schools in the News

Below you'll find stories and op-eds about our work.

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There have been times in her teaching career when Marwa Elmasry was so floored by racial insults that she considered switching professions.

“People might say, ‘You are a terrorist,’” said Elmasry, an Arab American. “I was confused. Because we don’t have training on racial harassment, I wasn’t sure what to do. I just went home crying.”              Read More...

A cohort of finalists from the 2020-21 Illinois Teacher of the Year contest and other education-focused groups are pushing for legislation that would require schools to have policies specific to racial harassment on the books.


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Policy fellow Madeline Wood said racial incidents often fall under the umbrella of bullying in schools’ code of conduct and the bill is to bring more awareness to racism itself.

“The ultimate goal of the bill is to provide the same kind of protection of sexual harassment for victims of racial harassment, including clear definitions, so everybody knows what is and what is not okay,” said Wood.                                                                                                                     Read More...

Students shouldn’t have to resort to secret video recordings, public protests, anonymous cries for help or school transfers to avoid racial harassment. Our schools need clear and accessible policies, procedures and training on the complex topic of racial harassment, just like all employers have already for sexual harassment.


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One scrawled-in-blue note read: “A teacher told me that it’s OK for me to go outside and run the mile when it was 90 degrees because I’m from the desert. I was born here.”

Another, in cheerful pink highlighter and bubbly lettering, read: “Every day these two girls walk by my lunch table to make comments about my hijab and call me a terrorist.”

And then there was this note, printed in pencil: “I hate how much people use the N-word. It’s not OK.”           Read More...

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