On November 8, 2016, voters in California and across the nation participated in the democratic process by casting votes that determine political leaders and public policies and expressed strong support for public schools by embracing bilingual education through Proposition 58, strengthening funding sources through Proposition 55, and modernizing school facilities through Proposition 51.
Alameda is a diverse community in the San Francisco Bay Area and is noted for having over 72 different languages spoken in AUSD's schools (including Arabic, Chinese, English, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and many others). Approximately 11% percent of approximately 9,500 AUSD students were identified as being born outside the USA and/or immigrants to this country, 17% were identified as English language learners, 27% of students qualified for free and/or reduced lunch, and a clear majority of AUSD families and students identified themselves as people of color.
Alameda Unified School District has partnered with many different civic agencies (e.g., The Alameda Collaborative for Children, Youth, and their Families (ACCYF), The City of Alameda, The Alameda Chamber of Commerce, Alameda Education Association (AEA), California School Employees Association (CSEA Units 27 and 860), Alameda Education Foundation (AEF), Alameda PTA Council, and Alameda Family Services (AFS)) this past year to promote a public awareness campaign, spearheaded by our LGBTQ Round Table and affirming our collective commitment to the idea that “Everyone Belongs Here” and that we all must work to confront all forms of hate, bigotry, and bullying in order to counter intolerance.
Youth and families across the district, county, state, and nation have already experienced increased levels of hate speech based on their national origin, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation before, during, and after the election in an America still not free of hatred. Tonight staff present a draft resolution declaring AUSD as a "Safe Haven School District" in order to safeguard the public we serve and uphold the values of our organization.
This item came to the Board for information at its January 10th Board of Education meeting. Staff is asking the Board to take action on this resolution tonight.