Social justice is about distributing resources fairly and treating all students equitably so that they feel safe and secure—physically and psychologically.
Beyond the basic needs of food, shelter, clothing, and sleep, children need to feel safe, have a sense of belonging, and a healthy sense of self. Once those needs are met, they can effectively learn their core subjects: reading, writing, history, science, and math. As adults, we can work together to create and ensure a school environment for children that is supportive and provides them with opportunities that help them see themselves as respectable, capable individuals.
Equity in Education
Equality is more commonly associated with social issues. When a group focuses on equality, everyone has the same rights, opportunities, and resources. Equality is good, but it often doesn’t adequately address the needs of disadvantaged students.
Giving each student a take-home laptop, for example, does not address students who don’t have Internet in their homes. Even if a school is equal, some students may still struggle.
Equity, on the other hand, provides people with resources that fit their circumstances. The World Health Organization (WHO) definition of social equity is “the absence of avoidable or remediable differences among groups of people.” Schools that prioritize equity versus equality are more in tune to their students’ needs and provide resources to overcome their specific challenges.
Safety in our schools, especially for our HCPSS students, is very important. Safety Resource Officers (SROs) are responsible for developing comprehensive safety plans to ensure schools are safe places for students to learn. The SRO provides a highly visible presence to deter or identify trespassers on the school grounds. SROs are not supposed to be involved in investigating school rule violations. SROs are not school disciplinarians.