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Diversity is defined as a broad concept that includes gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, linguistic differences, exceptional abilities, sexual orientation, gender identity and expressions, variations of talents and abilities, as well as special needs.
Understanding the Dimensions of Diversity
The diverse world in which we live is a composite of many cultures, values and ways of interacting with one another. The dimensions of diversity include gender, religious beliefs, race, marital status, ethnicity, parental status, age, education, physical and mental ability, income, sexual orientation, occupation, language, geographic location, and many more components.
The “Diversity Wheel” shows the complexity of the diversity filters through which all of us process stimuli and information. That in turn leads to the assumptions that we make (usually about the behaviors of other people), which ultimately drive our own behaviors, which in turn have an impact on others.
Policy“Bring harmony to this world, one at a time, one at a time it will work–with a teacher, a parent…it will work. I know that it will. It has to.” -LGBT identified South Florida high school student Ensuring the safety of all students is our professional, legal and ethical expectation. Federal, state, local legislatures and our School Board members have given us the guidelines, tools and resources to ensure that all students soar academically and are provided a safe, respectful, connected place to do so. Broward County School District ensures that all district staff adhere to these policies and guidelines to establish the safety of all students, including youth from varying backgrounds, cultures and identities. Below please find some relevant policies and laws that relate to diversity: Policy 1.5 Diversity “The School Board of Broward County prohibits any policy or procedure, which results in discrimination on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, marital status, race, religion or sexual orientation. The School Board is committed to providing schools that promote acceptance, cultural diversity, equity, fair play, respect, and tolerance, and reinforce the positive tenets of a democratic society. The School Board recognizes that diversity is important in providing competent services in an inclusive setting. Students and staff with diverse backgrounds shall be provided the opportunity to develop greater skills and increased sensitivity in working with others and learning to function more effectively as members of a pluralistic society.
The School Board of Broward County shall not discriminate against students, parents or guardians of students, employees, applicants, contractors, or individuals participating in School Board sponsored activities. The School Board is committed to the provision of equal access. This policy is established to provide an environment free from discrimination and harassment based upon age, race, color, disability, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, national origin, religion, sex or sexual orientation.
The educator values the worth and dignity of every person and essential to the achievement of these standards are the freedom to learn and to teach and the guarantee of equal opportunity for all.
The Fourteenth Amendment The Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (Equal Protection) The United States Constitution guarantees all people equal protection under the law. This means public school officials and employees may not single out a student for negative treatment based on prejudices against a certain culture or identity. The Constitution’s equality also means that public school officials may not turn a blind eye to anti-LGBTQ harassment or treat it less seriously than other forms of harassment.
Title IX Title IX of the Education Amendment Acts of 1972 Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities that received federal financial assistance. Although Title IX does not expressly apply to discrimination based on sexual orientation, it does prohibit gender-based harassment, such as harassment on the basis of student’s failure to conform to stereotyped notions of masculinity and femininity.
The Diversity Committee was established on August 6, 1996, to assist the Superintendent and the School Board in meeting their commitment to promoting diversity. The Committee currently consists of 31 members, 27 of whom are appointed by the School Board. The Student Advisor to the School Board, or his/her designee, serves on the Committee, representing his/her geographic area, and appoints three student committee members representing the other three geographic areas.
The committee members have diverse backgrounds and represent the various geographic areas of Broward County. The primary responsibility of the Diversity Committee is to make recommendations to promote diversity through the Superintendent, to the School Board, while maintaining a unitary school system. Please go to the Diversity Committee page for more information.