Why is Positive School Climate considered Social Justice Action?

There is a growing realization that speaking broadly about bullying often masks issues faced by targeted populations of students like hate speech, gender and sexual orientation-based violence, cultural or religious bias and disproportionate school discipline policies.

There is a movement to address these issues by focusing on advocating for positive school climate policies and practices. Improving school professionals’ knowledge and skill when it comes to intervening and advocating in bullying situations is still an important area of concern. However, broadening our scope to school climate is key to preventing bullying, addressing inequities and to advancing education justice and opportunity for all students.

Ensuring positive school climate requires collective action.

Recent research by GLSEN reports that it takes six or more supportive adults to truly make a difference in eradicating negative outcomes, especially those most directly related to academic achievement and postsecondary aspirations.

Only half of students surveyed in the report could name six supportive educators.

Since impacting students’ school experience requires broader educator support and participation, NEA is building and identifying a critical mass among school staff –teachers, ESPs and paraprofessionals, to organize School Climate Teams in their schools.

Already organized? Just getting started? We have tools and resources for you!

Here’s How to Make an Impact!

Educators for Positive School Climate: Getting Started Checklist

Use this checklist as a guide for your team as you take steps that will make your school climate safer and more affirming. As educators we have the power to create a climate that is positive and will allow every student to realize their potential.

Preparing an action plan for the School Climate Campaign is like preparing for the beginning of a school year- get to know our team, understand what issues we face and make a plan for success.  So let’s get started!

Create a Winning Team

  • Find out more about who is on your team and the unique skills of each member
  • Identify any important voices missing from the conversation
  • Recruit other team members
  • Develop a plan for how the team will stay connected

Understand the Challenges Ahead

Make a Plan for Action

  • Identify the causes of the issues your students, school and community are facing
  • Set specific and measurable goals (i.e. changes to school policy or district policy)
  • Powermap your school community
  • Develop a plan for action
  • Make sure your plan will allow you to meet your overall goals
  • Measure your impact and evaluate your progress along the way

Visit us at www.neaedjustice.org

Listen to NEA’s national call on School Climate and Education Justice

  • Bully-Free

    Student bullying occurs once every seven minutes. In schools across America, one in three students report being bullied weekly.
  • English Language Learners

    Over 400 languages are spoken by students who are English Language Learners nationwide . These ELL students bring a rich cultural diversity to our student populations.
  • Immigration

    A pragmatic approach to immigration is critical for our students –the center of our communities. All students should have the opportunity to learn without the fear and distress that result from unfair immigration policies.
  • LGBTQ

    LGTBQ students face unique challenges in our schools. They are more likely to face bullying and harassment leading to poor grades, higher dropout rates and homelessness. Safe and affirming schools are a core element of student success.
  • Voting Rights

    States across the country have passed measures to make it harder for Americans—particularly people of color, the elderly, students, and people with disabilities—to exercise their fundamental right to cast a ballot.
  • Opportunity

    A student’s chances for success should not depend on living in the right zip code, winning a charter lottery, or affording private school. Our schools belong to all of us.
  • Racial Justice

    Our education system while intended to uphold equal opportunity, often also entrenches disparities by its sheer design.
  • Ending the School to Prison Pipeline

    Zero tolerance and other school discipline policies designed to push kids out of the classroom often lead students into the criminal justice system at unprecedented rates. Too many students are lost to our communities this way.