‘Scare Students Into Silence’: Cali School District Runs Snitching Database To Report ‘Racism,’ ‘Microaggressions’

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Alexa Schwerha Contributor
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A California school district operates a reporting system students can use to report on one another for offensive incidents, according to its website.

The Acalanes Union High School District’s (AUHSD) Bias Incident Reporting System works to promote “safe environments” for students by creating a system where “incidents of harm” can be anonymously submitted for review, its website reads. It clarifies that while the Bias Incident Team does “not tell people how to think or talk,” students can use the system to report incidents of racism, bias, sexism and microaggressions. (RELATED: From Pronouns To Comedy Shows, College Kids Keep Snitching On Speech Through Secret Tip Lines, Documents Show)

The district releases a monthly report on the topics that have been reported, a mother of a student in the district, who spoke anonymously due to fear of retribution, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. Some of the topics included gender identity, racial bias and sexism.

Whatever someone can be offended by is reported and it goes through a system of review,” the mom explained to the DCNF.

The AUHSD Bias Reporting Procedures document also lists sexual harassment, homophobia, cyberbullying, discrimination and hate speech as potential offenses. A Bias Incident committee, which consists of a diversity chair, site staff, wellness staff and a designated administrator, meets after a report is filed to determine whether “disciplinary” or “restorative” consequences are warranted.

Disciplinary consequences would be reserved for reports that include sexual harassment or bullying while restorative consequences would be doled out to offenders who made insensitive comments, according to the document.

The system is a “slippery slope” that focuses on keeping complaints internal rather than escalating complaints to the proper channels, the mom told the DCNF. She also said the complaints that are filed are “subjective.”

A 2022 report by free speech watchdog Speech First found that over half of colleges in the United States use similar systems to monitor biased incidents on campus. CeCe O’Leary, a Southeastern Legal Foundation attorney who often challenges such systems, told the DCNF that they are “prevalent” on high school campuses, as well.

“No matter the student’s age, bias reporting systems violate their First Amendment rights because they scare students into silence out of fear of being reported to administrators for saying the ‘wrong’ thing,'” she said.

The system doesn’t overtly dissuade discussion of controversial topics like gender identity because it is “too part of the system,” the mom told the DCNF.

“It’s a part of the curriculum, and the kids are taught from an early age that you have to accept it and any sort of bias can be construed as transphobia when really people just want to stick up for women’s rights,” she said. “There’s nothing transphobic about women’s rights.”

AUHSD did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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