SPONSOR: Human Rights Education Community (HREC)
CO-SPONSORS: Nebraska State Council for the Social Studies, Ohio Council for the Social Studies (OCSS), New York State Council for the Social Studies (NYSCSS), Pre-Service Educators/Student Community, Virginia Council for the Social Studies (VCSS)
RATIONALE: NCSS, as the premier professional organization of social studies educators has a responsibility to contribute to the creation and institutionalization of cultures of respect for every person, regardless of their individual circumstances or group identities. Such a culture is a necessary precondition for effective civic engagement within a democratic, diverse society.
WHEREAS: respect for the human rights and essential dignity of every person is essential for positive and productive engagement in the civic life of a democratic society; and
WHEREAS: there is a disturbing increase in the frequency and the inflammatory nature of statements and actions by various individuals and groups both within the United States and globally, employing language of bigotry and negative stereotypes directed against religious, racial, ethnic, ideological, socioeconomic and gendered “others”; and
WHEREAS: ideologically-based bigotry, and expressed hatred of the “other,” when unchallenged by significant adults such as educators and socializing institutions such as schools, risk becoming accepted and tolerated as legitimate styles of public discussion and debate and become reflected in behavior of both children and adults within and beyond educational settings;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: NCSS should encourage and support the development of school-wide and district-wide programs to integrate awareness of and respect for the dignity and essential humanity of all persons, to embrace and accept different origins, beliefs, statuses and characteristics within an environment of inclusion, support and tolerance and to guide students to develop an ethic of civic engagement that incorporates these values; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: NCSS should draw on the expertise and experience of its members and others to offer resources and support for individual, school-wide, district-wide and broader programs to build such human rights respectful school cultures.
Passed by House of Delegates November 2017
Approved by NCSS Board of Directors March 2018