Students form a human chain in protest of the termination of a Latino studies program within the Tucson Unified School District. (Tucson Citizen/David Morales)
The United States Department of Justice Community Relations Service works with public and private secondary schools, colleges, and universities in all 50 states and United States' territories to ease tension and promote safe and equitable learning environments. CRS assists educational institutions by:
- Aiding school staff, faculty, and administrators in facilitating programs that help students understand the underlying issues of school conflicts, particularly those involving discrimination, harassment, and hate activity, and dispelling misperceptions about differences in race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and disability;
- Helping faculty, administrators, and students in developing and maintaining viable mechanisms for preventing and responding to hate or bias-motivated crimes, incidents, and tension or perceived inequitable access to resources, including the implementation of School Resource Officers programs, the drafting of collaborative action plans, and the formation of Parent Teacher Associations;
- Assisting students, parents, and administrators in communicating about concerns regarding equitable access to educational resources, perceived disparate treatment of students, and acts of harassment by students and teachers by facilitating meetings, conducting mediations, and hosting dialogues.
The following are case summaries of CRS's work with secondary schools, colleges, and universities. Further examples of CRS work with educational institutions are contained within CRS's Annual Reports, which may be located on the CRS Resource Center website page.