Addressing Incidents of Bias in Schools: A Guide for Preventing and Reacting to Discrimination Affecting Students

September 16, 2019

Home Reports & Resources K-12 Education Addressing Incidents of Bias in Schools: A Guide for Preventing and Reacting to Discrimination Affecting Students

There’s a growing concern about discrimination and hate crimes taking place across the country. While incidents of bias can occur anywhere, it’s especially troubling when it happens in our schools. Discussing race and discrimination can be difficult for the most seasoned of professionals, however, that discomfort should not prevent important conversations from taking place.

This guide is designed to bring together a school community in order to address and prevents incidents of bias, discrimination and hate crimes. It includes suggestions for facilitating the discussions so that they are safe, illuminating and productive, as well as for organizing the process so that it fits in the daily rhythm of the school community.

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In this webinar, hosted by Education Week, Matt Leighninger and Nicole Cabral of Public Agenda shared tips and strategies to help facilitate safe, illuminating and productive conversations on incidents of bias in schools. They also discussed the newly-released resource “Addressing Incidents of Bias in Schools: A guide for preventing and reacting to discrimination affecting students” and provided advice on how to use the guide in classrooms, staff meetings, after-school programs, and school-wide events.

Watch a recording of the webinar below:

Download the PDF


Text, Talk, Engage (TTE) is an engagement approach that combines digital technology and face-to-face discussion to increase the impact of engagement efforts. It is a process that facilitates text-enabled, small-group conversations that happen in many places on a single day. TTE encourages dialogue that is informed, thought-provoking, and personally meaningful. It helps people figure out what they think, provide input, and decide what else they might want to do.

From now until Feb. 28, school communities can use TTE to engage students, educators, parents, and other community members to address and prevent incidents of bias and discrimination affecting students. These discussions will be meaningful on their own, and can also serve as a stepping stone for school communities wanting to employ the Addressing Incidents of Bias guide for more in-depth dialogue and action.

To participate in the TTE exercise, follow the steps below.

  • Get together with 3-4 other people
  • Text “ENGAGE” to 89800
  • Follow the prompts
  • Answer polls and discussion questions (Results will be available immediately.)
  • Allow about an hour for a discussion on the results