The following is a press release of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.
The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) Board of Education approved a resolution, Recognizing United Against Hate Week 2023, at its Nov. 2, 2023 board meeting. SMMUSD has joined with the Santa Monica-Malibu Council of PTAs (SMMPTA), the Santa Monica-Malibu Classroom Teachers Association (SMMCTA) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to bring programming to our students and staff during United Against Hate week, Nov. 13-17. SMMUSD is all promoting the 2-1-1 phone number to report hate.
SMMUSD schools will have activities during the week that foster a sense of belonging, encourage respect and inclusion, embrace diversity and reinforce anti-bullying through the Olweus program and restorative justice practices. One activity supported throughout schools by staff and students is on Wednesday, Nov. 15, to wear orange to signify community or unity.
The LA vs Hate program is led by the LA County Commission on Human Relations and represents a diverse coalition of business and community partners united in addressing the normalization of hate in society today. The campaign aims to inspire people to stand up to hate and to build understanding among County residents about what constitutes hate acts and how to report them. Together, LA vs Hate promises that LA County cities can build respectful and resilient communities.
“We are proud to support this program to build upon our diversity, equity and inclusion practices, by fostering a sense of belonging at our schools,” said SMMUSD Superintendent Dr. Antonio Shelton. “Our goal is to provide safe school environments where our students and staff can be authentic, respected and feel at home. This program supports our current efforts.”
SMMUSD curriculum includes social justice standards from preschool through 12th grade. Lesson plans provide for students to share their cultural experiences and their stories so classmates, teachers and staff may better understand where they come from and what they have experienced so students may be best served to reach their full potential academically, socially and emotionally. Parent groups such as Special Education Parent Resource Network, Black/African American Parent Advisory Committee (BAAPAC), Puente for Latinx / Hispanic families, Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) and the LGBTQ+ parent group also give voice and support to foster a sense of belonging. Restorative justice practices provide opportunities to prevent harmful activities before they start and to help repair harm done when incidents do occur.
“Many in our community have experienced hate crimes and incidents,” said SMMPTA President Erika Bell. “It’s not enough for us to just hope that we will not be affected by hate. We must stand firmly against it. We need to actively work to spread love, peace, and kindness, and we need to be upstanders, identifying and reporting hate when we see it.”
2-1-1 Report hate phone number and www.WeTip.com
Other key strategies under the LA vs Hate program for preventing and responding to acts of hate include providing victim assistance services addressing the trauma of hate to residents through case management services that begin with a call to 211-LA. Healing services seek to ensure residents know they are not alone, and provide access to needed health, mental health, mediation, legal or other needed services to assist in healing. SMMUSD subscribes to the www.WeTip.com hotline for anonymously reporting acts of violence, bullying, vandalism, drugs, robbery, and other crimes. In an emergency, please dial 9-1-1.
LA vs Hate background:
Partnering with business, cities and LA County departments, LA vs Hate works with cities to promote an annual LA vs Hate United Against Hate Week, November 12-18, 2023. The event will stress community-inspired, innovative strategies to engage with the community by offering community-forward activations. The goal is to build stronger communities, respect and inclusion during this week by having residents display LA vs Hate artwork in businesses, retailer outlets, homes and schools. For more information, please go to www.lavshate.org and click on the United Against Hate Week link.