Hoover BOE considering code of conduct changes prohibiting racist language on and off campus

hoover code of conduct changes

HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - Hoover’s school board is considering a policy that will change the student code of conduct dealing with racist language in and outside of school.

Superintendent Dr. Kathy Murphy tells us racist or any other offensive conduct should not be tolerated anywhere.

"We will not stand for it. Certainly, videos and conversations or words that have been used in our school district that we find deplorable have certainly brought us to focus on this,” Murphy said.

That focus is possibly changing the Hoover City Schools code of conduct policy to prohibit racist or sexist language in and out of the classroom. It comes in the wake of a video in March showing several teens in the Hoover school system standing in a living room making racist and anti-Semitic comments.

"This is in response to wanting to get it right in Hoover City Schools,” Murphy said.

"I think that it’s something that probably should have been done a while ago,” April Collins, a parent said. Collins has children in the school system. She’s for the policy change. She is part of a group called “Hoover Ahead” that promotes diversity and equality in Hoover.

"We have to start with the students. We have to start at that young age so they will carry it for life and they’ll know that we are all equal. You know we may have different colors or different backgrounds, but we cannot treat people differently because of that,” Collins said.

Dr. Murphy says she understands First Amendment rights when trying to regulate off-campus speech. "If that comes back to our school, and in anyway is hurtful, demeaning, disrupts the educational environment for us. We have all intent to address those matters,” Murphy said.

The district has reached out to the Department of Justice and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to get their take on the proposed policy change. If the board passes the policy, it would make it a class 3 offense which could get students sent to alternative school or expelled.

The board is expected to take up the proposal in June.

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