Easthampton schools making progress on diversity, inclusion

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Article Author: Greta Jochem
Publication Name: Daily Hampshire Gazette
Article Date: 9/23/2019
Article URL: https://www.gazettenet.com/AG-says-Easthampton-is-correcting-civil-rights-issues-28661533

EASTHAMPTON — The city’s public schools are fulfilling their pledge to address issues of bias and racism in the schools, the Massachusetts attorney general’s office said this month.

Two years ago, the attorney general’s office found in a civil rights investigation at Easthampton High School that black and Hispanic students were disciplined more harshly than white students. The report came after racist incidents in the school, including a white student yelling “white power” and waving a Confederate flag. In March 2017, students staged a walkout to protest the way the school handled racist incidents after three students of color were arrested for punching a white student who used a racial slur on social media.

In August 2017, the district voluntarily entered into a multi-year memorandum of agreement with the attorney general’s office to address civil rights complaints.

This year, the state said in a Sept. 3 letter that the school is “successfully and properly implementing” the terms of the agreement. The district has “demonstrated a strong commitment to creating an environment at EPSD schools that is positive, welcoming, and inclusive for all students,” according to the letter.

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