Schools seek committee members for new anti-bully lessons
School district officials are hoping to channel the passions that surrounded passage of their anti-gay bullying lessons into their efforts to replace their current violence prevention curriculum. They’re looking for community and parent volunteers to help guide those efforts.
Ruben Zepeda, the district’s interim assistant superintendent for educational services, said he’d like to have an advisory committee of 20 to 25 people that reflects Alameda’s diversity in place by September 16. He said the committee, which would advise an instructional committee made up of district staff on new lessons for the district’s elementary schools, would have its first meeting on September 19.
“I’d really like people to think broadly. They may have a particular area of concern and interest. But I think the agenda is safe schools,” Zepeda said.
He said the group would probably meet on three Saturdays between now and October 31, to talk about what the lessons would address, offer suggestions about potential curricula and to review lessons selected by the separate staff committee to present to the superintendent and school board. (Some light weekend work could be part of the plan too.)
In May, the school board approved lessons intended to halt anti-gay bullying that are to be taught in the district’s elementary schools this fall. But the district’s leadership determined that its wider anti-violence curriculum does not go far enough in addressing bullying on the basis of race and ethnicity, disability and other factors. So they are seeking to replace it.
Zepeda said the committee will focus on replacing the district’s anti-violence lessons for its elementary schools but that he hopes to ultimately expand the work to include all of the district’s schools. He hopes to have new elementary school lessons approved by the school board before Thanksgiving.
If you are interested in joining the committee, you can reach Zepeda at 337-7094 or firstname.lastname@example.org.