Edina School Board updates handbook to address student concerns

Drawn By: Claire Chen. A student is seated at a desk.

Claire Chen

Drawn By: Claire Chen. A student is seated at a desk.

Malak Alkhatib, Lexi Han, and Katelin Seward

The Edina Public Schools school board added a new set of rules to the Student Handbook this summer condemning racism, xenophobia, and discrimination based on religion, gender identity and sexual orientation.

EPS Policy 506 now officially outlines and includes a series of punishments ranging from a Student Services referral to 1-10 days of suspension by banning “all forms of racism, religious-based discrimination, xenophobia, and sexual orientation or gender identity harassment and/or discrimination as these actions are destructive to the District’s mission and core values.” 

“I’m glad that the revisions happened on a yearly basis. Regardless of anything that might have happened in the community, the handbook was going to be reviewed, but given the March video and the graffiti that happened over the summer, there was this added sense of urgency,” EHS alumni Isadora Li said.

Some community members, however, believe the edits don’t go far enough. “More specific things [that The Student Handbook consequences could include] are making perpetrators that violate policy, ineligible or revoke certain leadership titles or authors of distinction,” Kelly Condit-Shrestha, co-founder of Edina Asian American Alliance and EPS parent, said.

But many believe this was a resounding step in the right direction as it was able to show the community that it was Edina’s support. “It’s a strength vote. [The handbook is] a living document because it can be edited as needed,” Li said.

Along with EPS’ new guidelines, the district is continuing to hold One Town One Family meetings, an event intended to  unite the Edina community by spreading awareness on the topics about discrimination of any kind.