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Every Student Belongs

The Oregon Department of Education recognizes that student health and safety are the cornerstone of education and that all students are entitled to a high-quality educational experience, free from discrimination or harassment based on perceived race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin, and without fear or hatred, racism or violence. All staff and leaders are also entitled to work in environments that are free from discrimination or harassment, and visitors should be able to participate in school activities without fear for their safety. The Every Student Belongs rule is an important step in creating safe and inclusive school climates where all who participate in our school communities feel welcome.

The Every Student Belongs rule prohibits hate symbols, specifically three of the most recognizable symbols of hate in the U.S.—the swastika (outside of a religious context), the Confederate flag, and the noose. The temporary rule took effect on September 18, 2020. It required districts to adopt and implement policies and procedures that prohibit the use or display of the noose, swastika, or confederate flag in any program or school-sponsored activity except where used in teaching curricula that are aligned with the Oregon State Standards by January 1, 2021. The permanent rule took effect on February 19, 2021 and was amended on October 26, 2021.

If you have any questions about the rules or the information linked here, please email us.

Documents related to this rule are being updated based on the passing of the permanent rule on February 19, 2021 and as the title “All Students Belong” changed to “Every Student Belongs” based on community feedback. The translated versions of two immediately relevant documents will be available soon (a new letter from ODE Director Colt Gill and Communications toolkit). Because other resources are being actively rewritten to correspond with the permanent rule and community feedback, they will be translated upon completion, available in English and other languages on a similar timeline.

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