Athletics and Student Activities
Note: This is a section of a larger set of policy and practice proposals before our board and community. Contact our office for additional information and to provide feedback or become involved. Sections will be updated as changes are made.
Highlights of proposed actions:
- Mandatory trainings for club members, athletes, and staff
- Revision and maintenance plan for existing handbooks
- Expedited discipline processes for potential discrimination incidents
- Modeling exemplary accountability measures for inter-district incidents
- Holding visiting districts accountable for behavior while in our premises
- Robust public education and awareness
- Anti-discrimination procedure beyond established HHB requirements.
- Dress code alignment
Proposed Section in Full
Section 3 (f): Actions related to Athletics and Student Activities
i. In addition to existing ongoing trainings and agreements on hazing, harassment, and bullying, require that all athletes and co-curricular club members engage in Athletic Virtue-building conversations that directly relate to matters of equity, including, but not limited to anti-racism, tolerance, allyship, gender identity in sports, inclusion, diversity, and athletic virtue. These sessions shall be intentionally incorporated within the semester or season events and shall be attended by all athletes, club members, officials, coaches and department personnel. All future athletic calendars will state the dates and times of these sessions after the adoption of this policy.
ii. Direct the athletics department and club leaders of participating schools (i.e., Milton Middle School and Milton High School) to revise all handbooks and rules to be inclusive of affirmative and consequential language around instances of intolerance and hate against students and persons from historically marginalized communities. These changes shall be made clear to athletes at the start and mid-point of every season or club members at the start of every semester. The Athletics Director, the Director of Student Engagement, and the respective building principals shall be responsible for the enforcement of the resulting procedures. The superintendent’s designee shall coordinate alignment of procedural compliance across sites.
iii. Expedite processes that address student misconduct related to discriminatory language or practices on and off the field or premises. For example, procedure should ensure that a student engaging in racist language be removed from the team immediately, pending an investigation. Local processes of expedited accountability shall be in addition to VPA rules and policies.
iv. Operate as models and advocates for statewide reform in the improvement of athletic policy and inter-district practices, including heightened accountability for districts in responding to discriminatory, intolerant, or hateful behavior against other districts. Similar expectations should be modeled in all other school-sanctioned student activities, clubs, and co-curricular events.
v. Hold other districts accountable for their students’ behavior while in our premises, with consequences including but not limited to the banning of specific players, specific students, audience members, or the right to interact with and compete against our teams or clubs entirely. Disciplinary decisions shall be revised within the respective handbook and be enforced collaboratively between the Athletics Director and the principals of the respective schools. The superintendent shall have ultimate authority and responsibility to enforce this clause.
vi. Engage in school and community-wide education that is immediate and relevant when instances of discriminatory behavior or language arises during events involving Milton athletes or students. These actions shall be more concrete than public statements or performative displays of solidarity (such actions are still welcome to build awareness and a greater sense of belonging, but they should not be the end of the response.) and shall activate in-school expertise led by the Athletics Director, the Director of Equity or Superintendent designee, and in-house educators proficient in matters of justice, anti-discrimination, and athletic virtue. All efforts shall be made to prioritize immediate education while continuing existing and sustained initiatives and programs.
vii. Task the schools with the creation and adoption of clear procedures to address racism, hate, and manifestations of prejudice off-premises and outside school hours for school-sponsored events or events officially endorsed by the school that fulfill and are complementary to mandated HHB Procedures. These procedures shall be reflected in the respective school’s handbook and be made clear to athletes at the start and mid-point of every season or club members at the start of every semester. The Athletics Director, the Director of Student Engagement, and the respective building principals shall be responsible for the enforcement of the resulting procedures. The superintendent’s designee shall coordinate alignment of procedural compliance across sites.
viii. Align Athletic and Club procedure with dress code requirements in “Actions related to Access & Inclusion” of this policy.
Director of Equity and Education Support Systems