Response To Hate Speech
PPS is committed to realizing our community’s vision that a graduate of Portland Public Schools will be a compassionate, critical thinker, able to collaborate and solve problems, and be prepared to lead a more socially just world. Our priority is to provide welcoming, safe and inclusive schools where every child can learn and grow to reach their potential. To ensure a learning environment of safety, security and belonging for every student, PPS does not tolerate hate speech nor acts of discrimination.
Several schools experienced incidents and demonstrations of hate speech that threaten our core values of racial equity and social justice.
A cross functional team with membership from several departments and with the input of school leaders developed a set of protocols. These protocols are designed to provide additional guidance and clarify protocols for PPS educators, principals and staff as incidents of hate speech continue to escalate in our community and across the nation. This document will provide initial guidance on anonymous incidents and will continue to be updated to provide guidance to additional incidents. Our goal is to support principals and school communities in providing proactive engagement to prevent incidents from occurring or recurring.
In 1997, PPS adopted the Non-Discrimination/Anti-Harassment Policy which has been amended throughout the years to respond to emerging situations.
The intent of the policy is to provide a culture of safety for students, families and employees by outlining protected classes, providing mechanisms for complaints and reporting to ensure the safety and well being of all. The district’s protected classes include: age, national origin, disability, economic status, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and gender expression or identity. The policy also provides consequences for those who engage in discriminatory practices, dismissal of staff and trespass of parents and volunteers.
In the fall of 2020, the State Board of Education adopted the The All Students Belong rule which prohibits hate symbols, specifically three of the most recognizable symbols of hate in the U.S.—the swastika (outside of a religious context), the Confederate flag, and the noose. The temporary rule took effect on September 18, 2020. It requires districts to adopt and implement policies and procedures that prohibit the use or display of the noose, swastika, or confederate flag in any program or school-sponsored activity except where used in teaching curricula that are aligned with the Oregon State Standards.
In February 2021, the PPS Board of Education adopted the Anti-Racist and Anti-Oppression Learning Communities Policy which prohibits the use of hate speech and hate symbols in any PPS school, program or school sponsored activity.
- Western States Center Tool Kit: "Confronting White Nationalism In Schools"
- Teaching Tolerance: Responding to Hate and Bias at School
- Anti-Defamation League Hate on Display™ Hate Symbols Database
- City of Portland: Portlanders United Against Hate
- Civic Engagement and Unrest: A Toolkit for Resilience and Empowerment