Highline School Board issues strong ‘Statement of Support for All Students’


Teachers, administrators, and the school board are sending an unequivocal message of support and reassurance to all students and families within Highline Public Schools this week.

With a letter from the Superintendent to families, as well as a resolution passed by the school board Wednesday night (Jan. 18), district leaders are making it clear that Highline is more committed than ever to ensuring that students feel safe, welcome, and respected at school.

Handmade posters are appearing in many Highline schools expressing to all students that they belong and are loved. Teachers at a number of schools have planned a special welcome to students and families as they arrive at school this week with signs and banners and greetings. Local PTAs pitched in to help. A Day of Welcoming was being planned for these Highline schools: Mount Rainier, Highline, Evergreen, Beverly Park, Hilltop, Valley View, Marvista, Cedarhurst, Mount View, Midway, Madrona, and Shorewood.

The actions are a response to students expressing fear following campaign rhetoric targeting immigrants and refugees.

“We are committed to our promise of knowing each of our students by name, strength, and need, as well as protecting, advocating for, and valuing our students equally no matter their race, language or ethnicity,” said Superintendent Susan Enfield.

If you follow Highline Public Schools on Facebook and Twitter, you probably noticed a social media campaign from the district affirming the values of equity, respect, and inclusion.

Here’s the full text, preceded by a letter from Superintendent Susan Enfield:

Dear Families, 

We in Highline pride ourselves on the diversity of our community, believing that the rich cultures and languages of our students and families are not only an asset, but also an integral part of our shared identity and experience.  As the Highline Community, we share in the commitment to engage in respectful, productive, and bipartisan civic engagement and communication in a safe and inclusive space. 

Highline is committed to ensuring that our students feel safe, welcomed and respected at school.  This means we will continue to intervene when we see or hear offensive, bigoted words and actions. We are committed to our promise of knowing each of our students by name, strength and need, as well as protecting, advocating for and valuing our students equally no matter their race, language or ethnicity.  To support this work, our School Board recently passed the attached Resolution in support of serving each of our students in an equitable and inclusive environment.

Highline students are brilliant, beautiful and brimming with promise and we recognize that they need our protection, advocacy and reassurance now more than ever. 

We are Highline–all of us.  

Susan

Here’s the resolution:

HIGHLINE SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 401

RESOLUTION 01-17

A RESOLUTION of the Board of Directors of the Highline School District No. 401, King County, Washington, supporting the Highline Public Schools commitment to serve all students in an equitable and inclusive environment.

WHEREAS, the primary responsibility of Highline Public Schools is to ensure that every student is known by name, strength and need and graduates ready for college, career and citizenship; and

WHEREAS, the diversity of our students is an asset that makes each classroom, each school, and the district overall stronger, more innovative, and more focused on the world beyond our walls; and

WHEREAS, we are committed to maintaining safe and healthy environments conducive to learning, where each student thrives, regardless of their background, language, race, sexual orientation, status, or other characteristics; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Directors recognizes that encouraging, inclusive and respectful environments, where students know they are safe, nurtured, welcomed, respected, and included, help students achieve their potential and allow them to be successful; and

WHEREAS, we are committed to maintaining school communities where all students, families, and staff are safe, respected and valued, and where students can engage in the learning process without fear of bullying, harassment, or intimidation; and

WHEREAS, equity and social justice are cornerstone values for our district, and we are committed to the enhancement and continuous improvement of learning environments that communicate the acceptance, worth, and importance of each student; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Directors is committed to governing the district through a lens of equity and social justice and to developing and maintaining structures throughout the district that support this lens, including in hiring decisions, professional development, and course and lesson development.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Directors of Highline School District No. 401 proclaims our district as united against hate and discrimination, and united with our students, families and staff who seek to foster equity in every aspect of their lives.  The Board of Directors and Superintendent commit to model and enforce the values in this resolution, and ask each staff member to join in this commitment to our students.

ADOPTED this 18 day of January, 2017.

Highline School District No. 401


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