On June 9, 2020, Greenville County Schools Superintendent W. Burke Royster released a statement claiming “it is incumbent upon today’s leadership to progress toward resolving the outstanding issues of our day.” He also announced that the school district would develop a “Diversity and Inclusion team that will serve in an advisory role to the administration.” In his statement, he explained that it was the responsibility of the “school system” to “dismantle years of racial injustice”:
Now it is our turn to do extraordinary things, and chief among them is that we must confront and dismantle years of racial injustice that continues to fester in the very institutions that exist to ensure security, equity, and liberty for all citizens. Although confident the next generation has what it takes to solve the problems of the future I, for one, believe there will be new challenges facing them. It is our responsibility as leaders, as a school system, and as a community to refocus and rededicate ourselves to the difficult work necessary to repair the torn fabric of our society before passing the mantle of leadership to those who follow us.
On May 25, 2021, the school district’s Board of Trustees adopted a policy titled “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.” The policy states that the school district will “ensure equitable and high-quality educational opportunities that evolve and change to reflect the world around us.” The policy explains that the school district will use “culturally responsive teaching techniques” to push equity. The phrase “culturally responsive teaching” is often used to describe a method of teaching that includes using the race and ethnicity of students as part of the lessons taught in classrooms. The policy states:
The Board prioritizes educational equity through the allocation of resources based upon individual student needs. As such, the District will identify and address barriers to achievement for students, work to eliminate opportunity gaps, utilize culturally responsive teaching techniques and approaches, and leverage community partnerships.
The policy explains that the school district will “promote a diverse workforce” by “actively recruiting and promoting candidates who are committed to equity.” The superintendent must also “provide additional detail and actions to promote equity and opportunity in furtherance of this policy through administrative rule.” This includes “an evaluation rubric and accountability standards for measuring success, training plans, and an ongoing plan for continuous improvement.”