Bay District Schools receiving diversity training

Bay District Schools expects diversity training to start in the spring.
Bay District Schools expects diversity training to start in the spring.(WJHG/WECP)
Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 5:47 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2021 at 6:06 PM CST
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - UPDATE 1/12/2021:

Equality Florida will conduct diversity training at Bay District Schools to help educators understand their students better.

“They just want to teach you what is diversity, what is inclusion,” Chairwoman for the School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) for Bay District Schools Cherie Crim said. SHAC is an group composed of school, health, and community representatives who act collectively to advise the school district on acts of coordinated school health approaches.

District officials confirm there is training set up for January 29th for school based counselors and student services staff. They say no training is planned for teachers or students. Administrators went through training with Equality Florida in December.

With this training, Bay District Schools wants to focus on two things.

“Improving student experiences in Bay District Schools and improving academic outcome in Bay District Schools,” Director of Secondary and Adult Instruction Alana Simmons says.

Crim says district staff will learn a lot about how they can help students. In turn, this should help students feel more accepted.

“When the top buys in that’s when it starts going down,” Crim said. “So, when we start diversity inclusion at the top, and go down to the teachers and students, we’re all going to buy in to a much better place.”

Everyone involved has one goal.

“We just want to ensure all students in Bay District Schools have the same level of access to all opportunities,” Simmons said. “We know that opportunity gap exists and we know good intentions are not enough, and that we have to take action.”

According to Equality Florida, the district was one of the last in the state to receive this training. They say Okaloosa, Escambia, and St. Johns Counties have still not gone through this training.

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