RISD Trustees Set New Standard With Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Policy
The Richardson ISD Board of Trustees unanimously adopted a new policy at its June meeting as part of the district’s continuing emphasis on equity, diversity, and inclusion.
The purpose of this policy is to establish a framework to eliminate any bias, prejudice or unlawful discrimination that may affect student achievement and learning experiences. The policy will also promote learning and working environments that welcome, respect, and value equity, diversity, and inclusion.
“We’ve created meaning behind the word equity in Richardson ISD,” Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Stone said. “It’s time to get serious and adopt a policy that goes beyond words and spurs action.”
Trustee Katie Patterson moved to adopt the policy calling it the greatest honor she’s ever had while on the board.
“This is a historic day in RISD. This is my proudest moment as school board trustee,” Patterson said. “We have talked about ‘All Means All’ for years. We are taking those words and putting them into action. This action is a team effort. This is just the beginning of our work, and it’s our collective responsibility to implement this policy that will benefit all RISD students.”
Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Angie Lee led the effort to create the new policy. Lee has been with RISD for 20 years as a teacher and administrator, and worked with community stakeholders to draft the policy. She said her team’s charge was to encompass the district’s vision, mission, values and focus in one equity policy.
“As Dr. Stone stated, this is an opportunity to move those mere words into action,” Lee told Trustees. “We have a unique opportunity to say to our community that we are no longer going to accept mediocrity for certain students. We really do stand behind them, pushing every student toward success, preparing them for their global future.”
Lee said RISD is at the forefront of creating an equity policy, and other school districts are calling her wanting to know how to implement equitable programs, how to draft an equity policy, and how to effectively monitor such a method of action.
“They were amazed that every staff member in the district will undergo two hours of cultural competence training.”
Lee concluded her presentation to the Board of Trustees by quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “The time is always right to do what is right.”
Implementation efforts and training related to the new policy will begin immediately.