Seven public schools in the San Ramon Valley have been recognized by the Anti-Defamation League as "No Place for Hate" sites for their efforts throughout this school year to create a safe and respectful learning environment and bring awareness to bullying and bias, district officials announced this week.
The honored schools were Danville's Charlotte Wood Middle School and San Ramon's California High School, Pine Valley Middle School, and Golden View, Live Oak, Quail Run and Twin Creeks elementary schools.
To earn the designation, students and staff at the schools formed a student-led coalition, hosted at least three diversity-related activities and signed a "resolution of respect" pledging to do their best to fight prejudice, promote mutual respect and commit to creating communities of harmony, according to San Ramon Valley Unified School District officials.
The program aims to help schools promote unity and reduce bullying, name-calling and other expressions of bias, district officials said.
"The San Ramon Valley Unified School District is grateful for the Anti-Defamation League for its generous support of our students, staff and parents," SRVUSD superintendent Rick Schmitt said in a statement.
"As a district, we are committed to providing opportunities to engage our students and staff in open dialogues about inclusion, tolerance and bias," he added. "The ADL program is one of many efforts by SRVUSD to ensure that this conversation continues not only this school year but into the future."
Each school will receive its "No Place for Hate" banner in the days ahead, including Cal High with a ceremony next Monday.
The recognition for Cal High comes more than six months after the school faced four publicized incidents of racist graffiti on campus. Monte Vista High School in Danville also had racist scrawls in a boys' bathroom and on a bus serving the school during that time.
Cal High students, staff, administration and parents have remained committed to building an inclusive school that represents the different cultures, nationalities and religions of its community, and by embracing the "No Place for Hate" program, they used the designation process as an opportunity to reflect and grow and deepen their understanding of bias and bullying, SRVUSD officials said.
"Our staff, students and community are committed to building a school culture that values differences and ensures that everyone feels safe," principal Sarah Cranford said.
"I am most proud of what our students have done to start and expand programs that give voice to marginalized groups on campus," she added. "Cal High is dedicated to continuing the work that we did this year to promote inclusion and diversity."
SRVUSD officials said the "No Place for Hate" program is among a variety of initiatives undertaken in the district to provide tolerant and inclusive environments where students and staff members treat each other with respect.
They cited other programs such as Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching and Learning, Inclusion Professional Development and Teaching Techniques, Digital Citizenship, Character Counts, Climate Committee comprised of kids, staff and parents, Gay Straight Alliance clubs and annual forum, Black Student Unions, Muslim student groups, Breaking Down the Walls, Equity Task Force, anti-discrimination policy, bullying reporting protocols and hosting Dr. Terrence Roberts, one of the civil rights movement's "Little Rock Nine."