Sonoma County Office of Education

A message from the National Association of School Superintendents on Addressing Hate and Bigotry

08/17/2017 -

motherchildcarouselFollowing is a statement on addressing hate and bigotry in the school setting, which Tom Armalino, president of the National Association of School Superintendents (NASS) sent to NASS members. SCOE is sharing it in the hope that it can be useful to schools and districts grappling with how to communicate with students about these difficult times.

This past weekend, hate and bigotry became the focus of events in Virginia. Soon, three were dead, others injured, and the community once again left distraught and traumatized. The results of these actions have evoked terror and fear for many Americans, especially students who are asking questions and needing guidance in how they confront social issues.

The National Association of School Superintendents (NASS) is a values-driven association focused on promoting student equity. The acts of hatred and bigotry that took place this past weekend betray our core values and association pursuits of equity and excellence to meet the diverse needs of all students.

NASS also recognizes your unique challenges in providing services to all students. We do this by offering opportunities to share knowledge and expertise that provide a foundation for you to begin courageous conversations about racism and all types of discrimination in your schools, neighborhoods, and communities.

Below, we have included several resources that can help enable you to uncover persistent hate and bigotry, as well as how to begin to educate and support students in need. At times, confronting these issues may require a simple conversation. At other times, confronting these issues may require a larger campaign built on education and equity engagement. The resources below include web links, books, and articles that can help your district move in a positive direction.

NASS has not partnered with the creators of this content and doesn’t specifically endorse the resources. But during this urgent time, we feel compelled to assist you in locating platforms that can provide help and services.

Before making use of these resources, we encourage you to check your district protocols and board policies to determine if there are already procedures and resources in place.

If NASS can support school administrators in any other way, please don’t hesitate to let us know how the association can support you in addressing this difficult issue.

Tom Armelino
Executive Director
National Association of School Superintendents


Compiled by SCOE from information provided by NASS as well as the Association of California School Administrators

Article on helping children cope with traumatic events
Addressing racism stereotyping
Lesson plan specific to the Charlottesville Tragedy
Teachers Share Resources for Addressing Charlottesville hate Rally In the Classroom-Ed Week Teacher
How to Reduce Prejudice Among Groups of Students at School-The Conversation
Talking to children when hate makes headlines - CNN
How to talk to your kids about the violence in Charlottesville - LA Times
Resources For Educators To Use In The Wake Of Charlottesville - NPR