Wellesley, MA

Wellesley school encourages students to turn in peers and teachers for any “biased behavior” or “rude jokes”

Amy Christie

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Wellesley Public Schools is reportedly encouraging all its students to report on peers and teachers for any speech offences that could show an “inherent bias.”

How did it all happen?

The administrators of Wellesley Public Schools are allegedly “encouraging students and staff to file complaints against one another for telling rude jokes and committing microaggressions or other 'incidents of bias,'” as reported by the National Review on Tuesday.

The outlet also brought forward documents from the district's Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, recently released by the nonprofit group Parents Defending Education. Those documents give details regarding the school district’s policy on “responding to incidents of bias or discrimination.”

The Wellesley policy states that discrimination of any type is not tolerated, according to the news outlet.

Incidents of bias are defined as "any conduct, speech, or expression that has an impact but may not involve criminal action but demonstrates conscious or unconscious bias that targets individuals or groups that are part of a federally protected class.”

Students are actively encouraged to report any related incident. These include “any concerning pattern of biased behavior”. They should address their complaints to “trusted” adults or the administrators.

“Reports of any concerning behavior may be made anonymously,” the document adds.

What are some examples of infractions?

One training slide explains that “telling rude jokes that mock a protected group in person or through any electronic device,” is one such bias-based incident that need to be reported.
“Using slurs, imitating someone with a disability, or imitating someone's cultural norm or language,” is another infraction highlighted by the National Review.

A phrase like “My principal is so crazy!” is an example of a microaggression.

The punishment for related offenses includes, but will not be limited to,” detention, suspension, or other restorative responses that require them to acknowledge their responsibility and minimize its impact.”

Nicole Neily, president and founder of Parents Defending Education is reportedly convinced that the aforementioned “bias response team” is a very concerning program.

“Students absorb more in school than simply lesson plans. They're also learning how to interact with individuals who come from different backgrounds and viewpoints. Bias response teams send a clear message not only those certain opinions are wrong but that the correct coping method, when confronted with such a situation, is to go tell the grownups,” she warned.

Wellesley Public Schools is not the only district putting forward such programs.

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

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