Bucks NAACP, ADL Philadelphia Condemn Pennridge's Halt in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Efforts | Newtown News of Interest | Scoop.it

In the wake of a recent school board decision to halt the district’s diversity, equity and inclusion-related efforts, anyone searching the Pennridge School District’s website for DEI information will come up short.


The board voted 6-1 at its August meeting to pause administration-led DEI initiatives, and related materials have since been hidden from Pennridge’s website.


Now, the webpage that once housed the school district’s DEI mission statement and district goals is mostly blank, requiring a username and password to login. School district-controlled DEI content has been temporarily pulled from the website for review.


Since the vote, Bucks County NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League Philadelphia have publicly condemned the decision.


Pennridge is one of several school districts locally and nationwide wading through the ongoing confusion and debate surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion and critical race theory.


In Pennsbury, where community members have passionately spoken out against CRT curriculum, which has never been proposed in the district, educational equity is defined as “the practice of distributing resources, access and opportunity based on fairness and justice regardless of race, ethnicity, color, age, religion, gender….”


CRT is an analytical framework that examines the history of race in America and is usually associated with studying law in higher education. And most districts have looked to address equality issues in their schools, none have proposed CRT curriculum.


Following the vote, ADL Philadelphia’s regional director, Shira J. Goodman, called upon the Pennridge School Board “to immediately and in good faith" resume the district’s DEI efforts.


“By restricting efforts to better understand and confront systemic discrimination in the school district and beyond, the board is abrogating its responsibility to serve all students,” Goodman said in a statement. “This decision is illogical, unethical and deeply harmful.”