“It includes what we believe is the minimum necessary to satisfy the law while also providing us the opportunity to affirm our longstanding commitment to supporting and encouraging instructors and students in teaching and learning about challenging issues and ideas,” said board member Cynthia Briscoe Brown, of the APS policy created by the committee she leads.
The approved document largely mirrors language suggested by the State Board of Education, with a notable addition. The Atlanta version includes wording ensuring that teachers “accused of wrongdoing will have the right to present a defense to the complaint, testify on their own behalf, and present witnesses to the alleged incident.”
The board’s policy committee recommended adding that due process language at a meeting last month. The full board voted Monday to make that revision and to give final approval to the policy.
The approved rules describe the timetable for a school to respond to parents’ written complaints. Within five days, a school must review the issue and take steps to investigate it. Within 10 days of receiving a complaint, the school is to let the complaining parent know if a violation occurred and, if so, what action is being taken to remedy the situation.
The policy also outlines the appeals process.
Other metro Atlanta school boards, including those in DeKalb and Fulton counties, already approved their districts’ divisive concepts policies.