Diversity is great and embraced in schools, communities, and society.
Diversity is not simply a mix of cultures, but also celebrating every individual who is different, unique and learning to accept and gain respect for individuals regardless of their differences.
Chandler Unified School District has unpacked a program called Deep Equity, developed by Corwin. It provides faculty training to help make individuals comfortable, to teach everyone to be more respectful, and learning to celebrate everyone’s differences, whether it be gender, race, sexual orientation, or culture.
The CUSD made a commitment to teach faculty and other members of an inclusive society to be knowledgeable of diversity in the community.
“History has demonstrated that people and organizations like CUSD unfortunately back away from their objectives.” David Evans, Vice President of the CUSD governing board, explains.
CUSD taking the appropriate stance and starting the Deep Equity program is a great example of growth.
New programs and new goals always comes with concerns; especially from the community surrounding Deep Equity. These issues were brought to light and recorded from the board meeting that took place on July 10 over the summer break session.
The issues that were addressed concerned teachers prepared to handle these types of modern-day problems; which is why they had professional development in October as part of their training.
Faculty and teachers learned new strategies to teach in the classroom, and better ways to communicate with people who may come from different cultures and backgrounds.
However, some are becoming increasingly worried about whether the program will take away from the students classroom learning and parents feel that not every student is being treated fairly.
Unfair treatment is simply a part of reality. Regardless of where you go, criticism and hatred may be looming around the corner; learning how to deal with it is apart of life. It is understandable that the community has brought up these issues so that they can be addressed appropriately.
‘The root of Deep Equity is dignity, everyone deserves dignity,” Mr. John Prothro, a history teacher says. If an individual does not have a voice they feel unappreciated, like they do not matter.
Mr. Prothro makes sure every student leaves his room feeling dignified. Whether the program is supported or not, Deep Equity will have both a positive and negative impact on the CUSD, other future schools, and society.
Of course with this is a long-term plan, and changes will not be seen right away, but down the road can be seen.
The district’s overall goal is to stay on track with CUSD Journey 2025 and focuses on their four pillars, won the of them being Equity.
The Deep Equity program is a great start and something that was needed for schools and society when becoming knowledgeable of our diverse, ever-changing, population.