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Building an Inclusive, Safe, & Restorative School Climate

**Costello, M., & Dillard, C. (2019). Hate at school. Available at default/files/tt_2019_hate_at_school_report_final_0.pdf.

This report documents the rise in incidents of hate in American schools and notes a discrepancy between incidents that are reported in the media and actual occurrences as revealed through an educator survey. More than two-thirds of the 2,776 educators who responded to the questionnaire had witnessed a hate or bias incident in their school in the fall of 2018, with racism being the motivation behind 33 percent of the incidents. Most of the hate and bias incidents were not addressed by school leaders, according to respondents. The authors argue that schools cannot ignore the increase in hate crimes and their responsibility to take proactive measures to counter prejudice and hate.

We will be taking a close look at this reading during Session III.

Howard, T. C. (2019, October 28). It’s time to completely ban the n-word in schools. EdWeek. Available at

The author shares his opinion that there is no reason the n-word should be used in schools – even if Black students themselves reappropriate it as a term of endearment – and that schools play an important role in helping to eliminate the use of the word. He believes students and staff need to understand the history behind the word in order to effectively teach it and respond to students using the word. The author concludes that the ban of the n-word is critical to creating safe learning spaces for students.

Shackford-Bradley, J. (2018, June 11). How schools can heal after hate speech. Available at

The author of this article reports that students encounter racist images and hate speech regularly, especially with social media, but feel unable to change anything. She argues that schools can use restorative justice tools to prevent incidents of hate speech and to bring healing to targeted students after such occurrences. Schools with restorative justice structures in place can foster conversation and understanding and support healing after an incidence of hate and hate speech, thus decreasing chances for future incidences.

DePaoli, J. L., Hernández, L. E., Furger, R. C., & Darling-Hammond, L. (2021, March). A restorative approach for equitable education. Available at default/files/product-files/WCE_Restorative%20Approach_Equitable_Education_BRIEF.pdf.

This brief describes how schools can use research-based, restorative practices to disrupt inequities within the context of pandemic recovery. The practices the authors discuss include building strong relationships between adults and students (which requires capacity building for adults to meaningfully engage and develop trust with students), reconsidering traditional discipline policies that are often discriminatory, and providing tools and supports for students and staff alike to learn the history behind and unique needs of diverse students.

**This document is a priority reading.