I couldn’t make something like this up so I’ll just present it as filed.
Nine Democratic senators have filed a bill that would remove from state law any references to school kids that are considered negative.
Instead, all such references – such as at-risk, in-poverty and disadvantaged – would be replaced with the phrase “kids at-hope.” Prime sponsor is Sen. Rosa Franklin of Tacoma. Joining her are Claudia Kauffman of Kent, Rosemary McAuliffe of Seattle, Joe McDermott of Seattle, Debbie Regala of Tacoma, Karen Fraser of Olympia, Karen Keiser of Kent, Brian Hatfield of Raymond and Derek Kilmer of Gig Harbor.
The bill starts with a statement of policy and then goes on for 61 pages in order to amend all of the various and scattered use of the undesired terms.
Every child is unique–each has different interests, talents, skills, personalities, and each comes from a home with different cultures, socio-economic levels, and education levels.
The legislature finds that too often children are labeled in a negative
context because of these differences. Such negative labels can be
devastating to children by making them feel defeated and helpless about
what the negative label says about them. The use of negative labels
creates a self-fulfilling prophecy that many adults unconsciously
The legislature further finds that it needs to redesign the
negative labels, especially those labels that the state uses for
children. The legislature finds that instead of the negative labels
such as “at-risk,” “in-poverty,” “from-poverty,” and “disadvantaged,”
a positive characterization should be used.
Using a positive descriptor will help children to see themselves differently and help adults more accurately define a child’s capacity. If the state is
going to label these children then the state must label to enable the
children to have hope.