SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
PRESS RELEASE


CONTACT:  Sarah Wahrenbrock                       FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
310.450.8338, ext. 70229                                   DATE July 1, 2011
 
 
BOARD OF EDUCATION GIVES DIRECTION TO DISTRICT STAFF IN RESPONSE TO RACIAL INCIDENT AT SANTA MONICA HIGH SCHOOL

At last night's Board meeting, the Board of Education gave direction to Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District staff regarding steps to take in response to the racial incident that occurred at Santa Monica High School in May.

The discussion item read:

"The Board of Education and District administration take the racial incident that took place at Santa Monica High School in early May extremely seriously. In the aftermath of this incident, the Board and administration wish to take all necessary steps to support the student(s) who were adversely affected by this incident, minimize the chances that similar incidents occur in the future, and ensure that such incidents are dealt with appropriately and correctly if they do occur."

"Accordingly, it is recommended that the Board direct district staff to take the following steps:

  • Reexamine our district's curriculum regarding diversity, tolerance and racial and ethnic sensitivity, to identify areas of weakness and opportunities for strengthening it.
  • Ensure that professional development for administrators and other district staff include racial and ethnic sensitivity training annually.
  • Engage with the Board in a process of examining the district’s relevant policies and modifying them as needed to ensure that they are consistent with our expectations and values regarding support and consequences for students and the behavior of district staff.
  • Assist the Board in reconstituting the Intercultural District Advisory Committee.
  • Ensure that all necessary and appropriate support is provided to the student(s) who were adversely affected by the May incident, and their families, during the summer and upcoming school year."

After a robust discussion, the Board asked for regular reporting back as to progress made in these areas.  To ensure accountability on the action steps outlined, the Board requested staff provide an implementation update to the Board within 60 days.  The Board plans to conduct its own investigation into the matter and independent investigations into the incident are being conducted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office and Santa Monica Police Department.

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SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
1651 16TH Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404
ph: 310.450.8338; fax: 310.581.1138
www.smmusd.org