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February 21, 2019
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Community Events Calendar February 22, 2019 through March 7, 2019 Sonoma County STEAM Showcase Monthly CalFresh benefits to arrive March 1 Explore foster parenting talk Feb. 25 Crew does a fine job Clover Sonoma supports free concerts for youth SSU Library presents ‘Alchemia’ exhibit Volunteer's Corner Community Events Calendar February 15, 2019 through February 28, 2019 Volunteer's Corner Rotary District 5130 provides multiple fire relief grants CTE Foundation invests in local schools Hub Cyclery celebrates another year SSU named one of the nation’s “Most promising places to work” Community Events Calendar October 5, 2018 through October 18, 2018 Community Events Calendar January 11, 2019 through January 24, 2019 New Entrepreneur in residence at Sonoma State University Let’s talk Turkey Recipes sought for B’nai Israel cookbook Cross and Crown celebrates 50th Anniversary Community Events Calendar September 28, 2018 through October 11, 2018 Community Events Calendar December 28, 2018 through January 10, 2019 Welcome to a new year of reading and writing Community Events Calendar February 8, 2019 through February 21, 2019 Community Events Calendar August 31, 2018 through September 13, 2018 Community Events Calendar October 19, 2018 through November 1, 2018 Local author donates to Wildfire Relief Charities LIME Foundation partners with local organization RP celebrates “I Heart RP” Feb. 10 Gore in tune Community Events Calendar October 12 through October 25 Over 100 volunteers wrapping toys Community Events Calendar January 4, 2019 through January 17, 2019 Cotati hosts award dinner JavAmore, Caprara’s Pizzeria hold fundraiser Save Rancho Adobe FPD Sonoma Clean Power partners with Uber Homeless veterans receive greatest gift Volunteer's Corner Coffee with Cotati cops RP Expressway improvements Remo is ready for dessert SSU’s Sakaki names Griffin-Desta as new Chief of Staff Haute Flash takes the stage Church of the Oaks crab feed Feb. 8-9 Community Events Calendar August 10, 2018 through August 23, 2018 Get your hula on for the Penngrove luau A day at Thomas Page Academy Elves clowning around Burton Recreation Center gets a new look Community Events Calendar September 14, 2018 through September 27, 2018 Pastis visits the Ranch A Cotati home has the Christmas spirit 2nd Annual Sweethearts Fairytale Dance Bands and DJs playing great music in Cotati Photo exhibit by Penngrove artist sheds light on disability community Free Advance Care Planning workshop Jan. 15 SSU Outreach and events coordinator changes Cycle Without Limits in action again at SSU Cotati’s early morning breakfast Cotatians turned out in droves Sat. to celebrate Oliver’s Market 30th anniversary party Bark After Dark: Dinner and auction to help save animals Enrollment event at SC airport Would you make a great foster parent? RCHS ‘sold out’ crab feed Community Events Calendar August 24, 2018 through September 6, 2018 Community Events Calendar October 26 through November 8 Community Events Calendar November 9 2018 through November 22 2018 Rohnert Park students to learn bike safety Genealogy library hosts open house in Santa Rosa NorCal Honor Band accepts Analy High School musicians CPI North Bay fire recovery Sonoma Raceway hosts food drive American Sign Language and police departments Volunteer's Corner Community Events Calendar January 18, 2019 through January 31, 2019 Community Events Calendar February 1, 2019 through February 14, 2019 Photography Show Newest report finds new growth on rare Cotati albino Chimera Tree The work behind “The Art of Resistance” SRS has affordable family concert, Jan. 27, 3 p.m. RP Health Center ensures all children in school district receive dental care Volunteer's Corner Volunteer’s Corner Community Events Calendar September 21, 2018 through October 4, 2018 A Veteran remembers Veterans SSU to buy 90-unit Petaluma complex for workforce housing Decker waves the baton at a concert Richard Crane fourth graders harness the wind Collaborating Together for Peace It takes a village to honor its past Veterans story Mark Weston Volunteer's Corner Young accepts ‘prez’ of the RP Historical Society Community Events Calendar December 21, 2018 through January 3, 2019 Poetry Out Loud Sonoma County contest A new strategy for the Cotati Chamber of Commerce The Native Daughters host CA Admission Day Veterans Day 2018, Rick Norman Community Events Calendar November 23, 2018 through December 13, 2018 A lighter, brighter Cotati Vandalism at Gold Ridge Community Center Community Events Calendar December 14, 2018 through December 27, 2018 Community Events Calendar January 25, 2019 through February 7, 2019 Volunteer City of Cotati offers Thanksgiving week fun for kids Saving on energy and giving youth jobs DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint Volunteer's Corner Celebrate Black History Month RP Founders’ Day Oct. 6 30 years for Danny's vacuum shop Volunteer’s corner Home Instead partners with local businesses Large affordable housing project breaks ground in Rohnert Park Is your Carbon Monoxide detector chirping? Volunteer’s Corner Backpack drive event this Sunday Who you going to call? Adapting to the weather changes SC Public Library Foundation needs directors Athena sits in ‘artsy’ Cotati Community Events Calendar December 7, 2018 through December 20, 2018 STEM at SSU SC nonprofit arts and culture generates $80.4 M Community Events Calendar November 2, 2018 through November 15, 2018 Multiple Commission, Committee and Board appointive terms expire Dec. 2018 – We have seats to fill! Community Events Calendar November 30 through December 20 Volunteer's Corner Volunteer's Corner Community Events Calendar September 7, 2018 through September 20, 2018 SAY launches One Cold Night Devil Pups set a new goal Celebrate the holiday season responsibly  Tips for a Grinchless holiday season Kenneth Bradley, a local photographer showcasing Community Events Calendar August 17, 2018 through August 30, 2018 Staying safe on our local trails North Bay Construction Corps receives statewide recognition Don’t be a victim of a charity scam Be a resource for fire survivors Service dog dreams come true for heart attack survivor 20/30 club & Kohl’s outfit students Annual Sonoma County hunger index: 1/3 of residents went hungry in 2017 Volunteer's Corner Fun-filled Cotati stroll Garbage rate increase may keep compostable materials in county Sonoma County reads ‘Kindred’ Be a resource for fire survivors Community Events Calendar August 3, 2018 through August 16, 2018 A warm day with dancing and good food Community Events Calendar November 16, through December 6, Volunteers needed to ring a bell Mobility is freedom…with a Purple Heart truck run Train as a coach to help older adults prevent falls Seniors are targets for telescammers

Discrimination and bullying in our schools

September 21, 2018

Since Feb. 2016 the Commission on Human Rights has been looking into issues of racial discrimination and harassment in schools, following requests for advocacy and support from parents, students and educators residing in all five districts.

The recommendations are intended for school districts as they develop Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) budget proposals to include proactive measures for diversity competence and improvement of school climate and consider policy changes to address issues that affect the academic performance, mental and physical health of students within Sonoma County.

Specific issues that have been reported to the Commission on human rights such as complaints reported to administrators about racial or other discriminatory harassment often resulted in inadequate discipline of the perpetrators and inadequate support for the victims.

Discrimination policies and the complaint process itself were reported as not easily found on school or district websites, difficult to navigate and the 60 days’ investigation period in the face of obvious harassment such as verbal slurs and threats of physical violence left victimized students unprotected.

Parents and students reported an inadequate investigation process in which schools and districts self-investigated with results that did not properly address the discrimination and harassment and some were required to change schools.

Parents expressed frustration at the inability to receive support from SCOE, one of whose key programs is defined as offering “service and support to help districts meet legal mandates.” However, as also stated, “SCOE does not have or create policies directing district behavior. Each district sets its own policies.” Parents seeking oversight out of the district complaint process are then referred back to the districts they felt weren’t adequately addressing their complaints.

Educators and parents reported moderate to severe reductions in student academic performance and overall trajectory, echoing findings by the U.S. department of Health and Human Services that students who are bullied are more likely to experience depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and   eating patterns and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy, issues which may persist into adulthood. They also experience health complaints and decreased academic achievement-GPA and standardized test scores-and school participation. They are more likely to miss, skip or drop out of school, all of which interferes with equal opportunity to education and FAPE accessibility for students with disabilities. In addition, when bullying based on race or ethnicity is severe, pervasive, or persistent it may be considered harassment, which is covered under federal civil rights laws.

Although title IX and Title IV do not prohibit discrimination based solely on sexual orientation, they protect all students, including students who are LGBTQI or perceived to be LGBTQI from sex-based harassment. Harassment based on sex and sexual orientation are not mutually exclusive. When students are harassed based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation, they may also be subjected to forms of sex discrimination recognized under Title IX. Federal protection laws include:

• Title IV and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

• Title IX of the Education amendments of 1972

• Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

• Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

• Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Students from two high schools’ newspapers in Petaluma and Sebastopol published articles on the rise of hate speech in their schools, a lack of adequate response from administrators and observations of “white supremacy masquerading as nationalism.” the report showed that racial harassment in schools is clearly on the rise and states that “other students have been emboldened by the divisive, often juvenile rhetoric in the campaign. Teachers have noted an increase in bullying, harassment and intimidation of students whose races, religions or nationalities have been the verbal targets of candidates on the campaign trail.”

Parents felt that filing OCR complaints with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights were their only option for assistance without support from their schools and district administrators. While this is their right, the process is complex, feedback also points to the existence of more incidents and systemic problems of discrimination that are reflected in the complaint data. 

Within the past 18 months, there have been cases within the county of at least one suicide attributed to discriminatory bullying, anecdotal reports of attempted and actual assaults based on race and sexual orientation, an increase in verbal and online threats and the use of racist slogans and confederate and American flags on student vehicles and within school athletics programs to intimidate students of color, LGBTQI students and students with disabilities.

When it last was updated in Feb. 2017, top county recipients of OCR complaints were Santa Rosa City Schools, 16, West Sonoma County Union High District, 10, Cotati Rohnert Park Unified School District, 6, Petaluma Joint Union High School District, 4, and Santa Rosa High School, 4. 

Of the number of OCR complaints, five were related to racial harassment, with one open assault case at Santa Rosa High School at the time of the report’s submission.

Some districts appear to take proactive steps and no longer received OCR complaints while others continued to have OCR complaints filed during the entire time span, which suggests a need for review and adjustment of disciplinary policies and protocol. 

For more information, contact The Commission on Human Rights at socochr@sonomacounty.org.

Submitted by the Commission on Human Right County of Son