Wrangler News invited representatives of each school district in our Tempe/West Chandler coverage area to provide a 250-word description of how their district is working to incorporate racial equality into their classroom curriculum.
The following response was received from Megan Sterling, executive director of community relations for the Tempe Union High School District.
Tempe Union High School District has taken a methodical, dual approach to incorporating racial equality throughout its community, by doing work at both the organizational level as well as in the classroom.
Dr. Cliff Moon, TUHSD’s coordinator of diversity and inclusion, works closely with textbook adoption committees to provide guidelines to a thoughtful, diverse approach in selecting textbooks and ancillary resources.
Dr. Moon also works with student groups who wish to address and discuss diversity, as well as designing professional development workshops for teachers and staff around diversity and cultural inclusion.
These workshops for teachers assist them in their efforts to bring equity and inclusion into the classroom experience.
The District has partnered with a local university to bring an interactive courtroom drama that explores the highly charged issues or race, class, religion and gender where the class is the jury and engages in discussion following the play.
Additionally, many teachers have begun to embrace restorative practices in the classroom and create a sense of community and support with the learning experience.
The district also continues to find ways to enhance curriculum by providing different experiences that support its commitment to embracing students from all backgrounds and creating a supportive and inclusive culture.
While the most recent current events do indicate that there is always hard work and listening to be done in the area of racial equality, TUHSD is fully committed to ensuring that the importance of a diverse school environment and curriculum are valued by all in its community.