Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Sandwich Public Schools Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Sandwich Public Schools District is continuously striving to create and maintain school environments free of discrimination, harassment or retaliation based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, ethnicity,  sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, economic disadvantage, homelessness, learning differences or other disabilities.  

Equitable Learning Environments are designed so that every student experiences an engaging, intellectually rigorous learning environment where all students are seen, respected, and cared for by adults and peers. Culturally responsive practices intentionally to affirm the identities of all students. Equitable Learning Environments provide greater access and expanded opportunities in areas of academics, extracurricular opportunities, and leadership. 

As a result, Equitable Learning Environments develop students who demonstrate intellectual curiosity and strong academic skills, a sense of agency, pride in one’s culture, understanding of one’s cultural history, and empathy for and meaningful connections with others. 

Commitment to Supporting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Sandwich Public Schools

To support the establishment and enhancement of Equitable Learning Environments, staff members will continue to  attend multiple professional learning opportunities designed to grow their professional understanding of cultural responsiveness. The district is also committed to providing opportunities for students to share their experiences in their school communities and helping to create inclusive and equitable learning environments. 


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI): Broadly outlines institutional policies, procedures and practices to foster safety, respect, belonging, access and representation for all. These initiatives are designed to create an inclusive environment for all and address inequities for individuals with marginalized identities. (ADL)

Diversity is the range of human differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability or attributes, religious or ethical values system, national origin, and political beliefs. (Ferris State University)

Equity means that each student, regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or socioeconomic status will have access to the opportunities, resources, and support they need to attain their full potential. (Cambridge Public Schools)

Inclusion: An environment and commitment to respect, represent and accept diverse social groups and identities; an environment where all people feel like they belong. (In K-12 learning environments, inclusion can sometimes also refer to the practice of integrating students with disabilities into the classroom setting.)  (ADL)

Culturally Responsive Practices: Culturally responsive practices mean using students’ customs, characteristics, experiences, and perspectives as tools for better classroom instruction. (ADL)

Racial Equity means the absence of institutional and structural barriers experienced by people based on race or color, that impede access, opportunities, and results.(Cambridge Public Schools)

Bullying: Repeated actions or threats of action directed toward a person by one or more people who have (or are perceived to have) more power or status than their target in order to cause fear, distress or harm. Bullying can be physical, verbal, psychological or any combination of these three. Bullying behaviors can include name-calling, obscene gesturing, malicious teasing, rumors, slander, social exclusion, damaging a person’s belongings, threats and physical violence. (ADL)

  • Elementary school version: When a person or a group behaves in ways—on purpose and over and over—that make someone feel hurt, afraid or embarrassed.

Discrimination means discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, age, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or religion by which an individual is excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of the school district. (Lexington Public Schools)

Harassment means unwelcome conduct on the basis of race, age, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity disability, or religion that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive to create or contribute to a hostile environment for the individual at school.  Harassment may include insults, name-calling, off color jokes, threats, comments, innuendoes, notes, display of pictures or symbols, gestures or other conduct which rises to the level of a hostile environment. A hostile environment is one which unreasonably interfered with  an individual’s  participation in, denied the individual the benefits of, or otherwise subjected the individual to discrimination under any program or activity of the District. (Lexington Public Schools)

Bias Incident: A bias incident is conduct, speech or forms of expression including imagery that is motivated, in whole or in part, by bias against a member of a marginalized group or a group’s characteristics, including race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, or national or ethnic origin. A bias incident differs from a hate crime in that no criminal activity is involved. Please note: the schools prefer not to use the term “Bias Incident.”  “Bias” is not in and of itself a cause for concern.  Incidents that require follow-up are incidents of bullying, harassment, discrimination, microagressions, and language that is associated with discriminatory terms or hate speech. We have listed the definition of Bias Incident because it is often used and we wanted to acknowledge that. 

Microagression: An intentional or unintentional comment or action that unconsciously or unintentionally expresses or reveals a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group or a group’s characteristics, including race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, or national or ethnic origin. These common occurrences include insults, slights, stereotyping, undermining, devaluing, delegitimizing, overlooking or excluding someone.

Reporting an Incident of Discrimination or Bias

What is an incident of discrimination or bias?

Differential treatment and/or disadvantage based wholly or in part on a community member's protected class (race, gender, color, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, age, or handicap/disability) may be classified as bias and/or discrimination according to federal statutes.  In some cases, these incidents may overlap with state bullying legislation and/or may involve law enforcement if the incident is deemed to be potentially criminal.  When school staff are aware of incidents of possible discrimination or bias, school administrators are committed to fully investigating the nature of the activity; the harm caused to members of our school community, as well as the the wider community; and what steps must be taken to repair that harm and reduce the likelihood of similar incidents reoccurring. (Lexington Public Schools)

Harassment, discrimination, and retaliation in any form or for any reason is prohibited.  This includes harassment or discrimination by administrators, personnel, students, vendors and other individuals in school or at school related events, including athletic events.  Retaliation against any individual who has brought harassment or discrimination to the attention of school officials or who has cooperated in an investigation of a complaint under this Procedure is unlawful and will not be tolerated by the Sandwich Public Schools.

Ways to report Discrimination or Harassment Incidents

Guidance for Students, Families and Staff

The best way to report Discrimination or Harassment Incidents is to talk with a trusted adult. Your trusted adult will then follow up with a principal or assistant principal in your school.

Other options include:

  • Report the Incident to the school Civil Rights Contact Officer: 
  • Contact the district Civil Rights Representative -  Superintendent  Dr. Joseph Maruszczak - [email protected] - 508-888-1054
  • Fill out the Online Discrimination and Harassment Incident Reporting Form, available below

Sandwich Public Schools Discrimination and Harassment Incident Online Reporting Forms

What you should expect next after contacting administration, or submitting the form?

Upon receipt of a report or a completed form, the School Principal, Assistant Principal, or designee will be in touch with families who submitted a form that includes contact information. All reports will be investigated.

Administrators cannot follow up with anonymous reporters. Anonymous concerns will be investigated but there should not be an expectation of disciplinary action based solely on the anonymous report. 

The Sandwich School Committee has adopted a number of policies that guide the schools’ and the district’s response to incidents of discrimination or harassment.

AC - Nondiscrimination

ACAB - Sexual Harassment

JB - Equal Educational Opportunities

JBA- Student-to-Student Harassment

JBB - Educational Equity



The Sandwich School Committee Diversity Equity and Inclusion Advisory Council (DEIAC) provides information and resources to support the district’s commitment to promote, honor, and celebrate diverse perspectives and identities. The DEIAC holds monthly meetings, open to the general public, with two public forums. The committee can be reached by email at:  [email protected].


Definitions of Bias Incident and Microaggression  were researched and voted on by the DEIAC. Sources include the ADL, Learning for Justice, University of Massachusetts, Amherst,  MIT,  and Harvard University


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