In an unexpected, unanimous vote on Jan. 28, the Orange County Board of Education approved the county’s first racial equity policy that acknowledges racial intolerance and inequity in the school district.
The policy states that the school system will take an active stance in providing each student with equal access to education through measures such as recruiting a more diverse workforce, addressing opportunity gaps and finding resources to accomplish these goals.
“(Community members) have been fighting for stuff like this for years,” said Namron Chapman, an Orange High School senior. “We’ve made progress. That’s all that matters.”
The policy was written by the school district’s Equity Task Force, a group of community and school system staff members that have been working on the draft for the past several months.
“It conveys a message that student achievement is more than just the student,” said Heather Redding, an Orange County community member. “It’s a reflection of the school system, the community, and that we are committed as an institution and a community to filling in that hole.”