The Fairbanks School Board’s Diversity Committee is recommending that all school district employees be subject to mandatory training in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

A report to this effect will be delivered by the Diversity Committee to school board members at their Oct. 20 meeting.

“We recognize that mandatory DEI training may be seen as difficult or cumbersome,” the report states, before claiming that universal training must be enforced in order to ensure that discrimination is stamped out.

Nationally, training in DEI goes far beyond affirming that all people are created equal and deserving of equal respect and dignity. It often includes teaching staff and students to suspend all preconceived morals, beliefs and ideas regarding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. The goal is to enable and accept all lifestyle choices. This typically includes requiring staff to affirm people in whatever sexual identity they demand. Failure to do so for personal or religious reasons can result in punishment.

The Fairbanks report lacks specifics, but calls for rooting out “micro-aggressions, and implicit biases in educational and professional spaces.” This will require “consistent, extensive, trauma-informed, and holistic educational approaches,” it says.

In order to ensure that future employees toe the district’s line with regard to diversity and micro-aggressions, the committee recommends continual evaluation of the district’s training, hiring procedures, curriculums, resources, regulations, and policies with “a better understanding of the implicit biases and inequities that still exist in our structures.”

The mandatory trainings are called “the first of many steps,” which will also include having teachers, students and others examine their “implicit bias.”

“This committee acknowledges this work is not easy and also that it is necessary if the district is to achieve its mission statement.”

Click here for information on how to provide public testimony at the Oct. 20 meeting. It starts at 6 p.m.

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Fairbanks considers ‘mandatory diversity’ training for all school employees

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 20 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.