FAIR News: Standing up against compelled speech
Dear Friends of FAIR,
On March 27th, FAIR sent a letter to Felix Festa Achievement Middle School in West Nyack, New York. The letter was in response to incident reports we had received on FAIR Transparency regarding the school’s plans for the national Day of Silence, in which students were asked to show support for the LGBTQ community by remaining silent throughout the school day and wearing all black clothing. The reports alleged that students who did not want to participate were effectively forced to in order to avoid being bullied and harassed.
The intention of the national Day of Silence to raise awareness of homophobia is commendable. However, as FAIR pointed out in our letter, schools have a legal responsibility to ensure that the way they handle events does not create an environment that compels speech or promotes bullying and harassment of students. Events like The Day of Silence—in which students show their support for a social cause on a specified day, week, or month of the year—are becoming increasingly common. It’s crucial that schools understand why it’s important to ensure that these events are run in a way that is inclusive to all students.
Parents and community members can play a role in alerting schools to these issues as well. That is why we have created this template letter, which can be modified to address new events of this kind as they come up. We hope it can be an effective tool for concerned parents and community members in their efforts to ensure that their schools are creating a positive, tolerant environment.
The Team at The Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism
Tia Fortuna’s New Home: A Jewish Cuban Journey
In this children’s book by Ruth Behar, Estrella, a young Cuban-American girl, helps her Tia Fortuna say goodbye to her little pink casita by the sea and move to a nursing home. Estrella learns about her family’s Sephardic Jewish heritage and the power of hope in times of change.
FAIR’s literature guides emphasize pro-human values and support literacy development. Designed for use with elementary-age students, each guide features a high-quality picture book, with discussion questions and activities aligned with FAIR’s Pro-Human Learning Standards.
Say More Event Series Launch
A dialogue between FAIR Advisors Glenn Loury and John McWhorter, facilitated by Professor Ilana Redstone, Mill Institute Faculty Director. Join The Mill Institute on Friday, April 14th from 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. EDT at the Museum of Arts and Design Theater for an exclusive conversation with Glenn Loury and John McWhorter about affirmative action, race, inequality, and fairness in the US. This exciting discussion aims change how we think about these complex subjects.
How To Run for School Board
You care about your kids and your community, we get it! So do we. April 24th-27th, join Grassroots Leadership Academy in partnership with FAIR for a 4-session, training experience to empower you to roll up your sleeves and run for school board (or effectively organize your community for someone you want to run for school board).
This training is great for those of you who want to run and your core supporters alike. The training experience is four, 90 minute sessions over four days, 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. ET each day.
Pro-Human School Board Leadership With Tanya Simons
1st Session (May 2nd from 4:00p.m. - 5:00p.m. PT) - Pro-Human School Board Leadership: I won my election! Now what?
Congratulations! You've successfully won election to represent your community, parents, students, teachers, and everyone who has a stake in your school district. Now the real work begins! Learn how to hit the ground running and immediately make an impact as a school board leader. In this session, we will cover essential topics to help you onboard to your new role and build relationships to influence, drive change, and serve effectively.
2nd Session (May 16th from 4:00p.m. - 5:00p.m. PT) - Pro-Human School Board Leadership: Policy and Governance
The office of school board is a huge responsibility, and the work you do will shape young people and your community for years to come. Through pro-human principles, learn how to effectively influence and enact sound policy in your district and how to build effective oversight and governance for your board.
FAIR News Podcast
Join the Pro-Human Movement With FAIR Merch!
FAIR Educators Alliance & Other Networks
Connect with other pro-human educators through the FAIR Educators Alliance. We bring together educators from all levels to share experiences and work on developing resources that can support teachers, community members, and FAIR chapters.
The FAIR Educators Alliance hosts an informal, virtual happy hour every other Thursday evening with occasional speakers and presentations.
FAIR also offers a K-12 Administrators Alliance, which holds meetings on the last Thursday of each month at 1:00 p.m. ET, and a group for Librarians and Library staff that meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Teachers, administrators, librarians, and educators of all kinds are welcome. For more information and to join any of these networks, please email email@example.com.
Join the FAIR Community
Sign-up for a Welcome to FAIR Zoom information session to learn more about our mission, or watch a previously recorded session in the Members section of www.fairforall.org.