School District 47 will be empowering students and educators to identify and take action against racism and discrimination as part of a new provincial K-12 anti-racism action plan.
“All students deserve to learn and grow in a safe and inclusive environment, free of racism and hate of any kind,” said Powell River Board of Education/
School District 47 chairperson Dale Lawson. “The new provincial K-12 anti-racism action plan is an important tool to help students and educators identify and take action against racism and discrimination. This document will support the policies, procedures and actions this school board has taken to address racism.”
Rachna Singh, provincial minister of education and child care, stated in a media release that it is known that Indigenous, black and people of colour may face inequity within the education system.
“This action plan is a critical step forward for students, educators, staff and families as we all work to create school communities that feel welcoming and supportive for people of all backgrounds,” stated Singh.
The release stated that the action plan will create change in BC schools by raising awareness and creating resources to improve the school experience for racialized students, staff and families, so everyone feels a strong sense of belonging. To facilitate this work, BC Ministry of Education and Child Care will provide new training opportunities for all school staff to help them better understand their role in fostering anti-racist school environments. The action plan will also empower students and staff to identify biases and address acts of racism or discrimination with new incident-response guidelines.
“For generations, Indigenous, black and people of colour have worked to fit into a system that wasn’t necessarily built for them,” stated Mable Elmore, parliamentary secretary for anti-racism initiatives. “The K-12 anti-racism action plan will help students and educators alike learn how to build more inclusive and equitable learning environments, so more students have equal opportunities to succeed. This action plan is an important part of our work to decolonize our institutions and build a better BC for everyone.”
The action plan will support school districts in their commitment to anti-racism initiatives in their school communities. Partnerships and sharing resources are key elements for school districts to learn from and support each other, the release stated.
This action plan was developed through discussions over three years with students, rights holders and Indigenous partners, education partners, educators and staff, as well as community organizations, according to the release. Future anti-racism work by the ministry of education and child care will continue to incorporate feedback from the education sector and those with lived experiences of racism.