Haywood County Schools
July 22, 2020
Plan to Foster Unity and Limit Divisive Bias Regarding Race and other Important Topics


The plan’s purpose is to foster unity and limit divisive bias regarding race and other critical social issues.  Our students deserve schools that feel safe and are supportive.  The plan and subsequent work will focus on Haywood County Schools and the local school community.  The overriding purpose is to cultivate unified long-term positive change.


Improving race and other relations is, and may continue to be, a difficult task.  Our community includes many people who care about unity and desire to address divisive racial bias as well as bias in other areas.  We are up to the challenge.

Our nation has a long history of emotional and conflicting convictions about race and other topics.  These include, but are not limited to, religious beliefs, handicapping conditions, gender, political affiliation, and nationality.

This plan was developed through personal reflection, learning more about bias, and meeting with people with varying beliefs and ideas about moving forward.  The following is a list of people who attended meetings to provide feedback.  There were literally dozens of others who reached out individually to offer ideas and support in moving forward.  Thanks to everyone who took time to share their thoughts and feelings.

Individuals Participating in Various Meetings

Tara O’Loughlin Edward Moore
Saul Olvera Jacquelyn Hall
Connie Allen Stephen Wall
Walter Bryson Daren McAdams
Mike Bryson Phillip Gibbs
Kayla Bryson Russ Binkley
Randy McDowell Robert Williams
Lori Fox Shawn Gaddis
Byron Burnette Jean Hall
Alex Masciarelli Nick Honerkamp
Jill Mann Greg Christopher
Tammy McDowell Rod Sanders
Josh Morgan Myrna Casey
Billy Staley Zeb Smathers
Keith Turman Peter Constantian
Rocky Tucker Ariel Crump
W.C. Godfrey


Plan Components

When implementing components from this initial plan, there are considerations to keep in mind.  This plan is a new starting point.  Subsequent work should evolve over time as we work to better understand bias in ourselves and others, take steps to address racial bias, and take steps to address bias in other areas.

Most people providing feedback, spoke about being unified and working together, including a variety of voices, being better together, building relationships, and building partnerships.  The discussions included ideas about work in the local community as well as in our schools.  Making progress in these areas is simply the right thing to do.  The initial plan components are:

  • Implicit bias training will be identified and implemented beginning with the superintendent and Board of Education members.
  • A committee will be established to advise the superintendent regarding the system’s work to foster unity and limit bias.  The committee will include individuals from the local community and schools who have a diverse range of perspectives and experiences.
  • School Board Policies will be reviewed to assure they promote unity and limit bias.  The North Carolina School Boards Association will be used as a resource for the review.  This work will begin with examining ways to address non-school displays that cause disruptions, are divisive, and hinder unity.
  • Standards for selecting materials that are used to teach the NC Standard Course of Study (NCSCS) will be reviewed and revised.  This review will focus on promoting unity, limiting bias, and assuring all NCSCS standards are taught.

This is an initial plan.  It is a new starting point.  Other work to foster unity and limit bias will develop over time.  We may never be a community that agrees on everything.  When we do not agree, we need to treat each other in a kind and civil manner.  When we do not agree, we also need to continue our work on unified ways to move forward.