Wed, 17 Feb, 2021
Over the past few days, we have been made aware of racist, hate-filled social media accounts that have been created using the names of two of our schools. Thank you to the concerned students, parents, staff, and community members who reported these accounts to us. I hear and share your concerns. There is no place for racism or hate in our schools.
Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) students have the right to feel safe and included in their school and community. Our Division, and our entire community, must work to remove barriers that may get in the way of the success of our BIPOC children; anti-racism education is integral to this work.
Our Division and Board of Trustees have made it clear that this work is a priority. An updated policy outlining our commitment to anti-racist education and equity was presented to Trustees last month, and we are asking for feedback from the public before it’s finalized. This is one piece of the work that needs to be done. We have also formed an Equity Advisory Committee to provide further advice on this important issue, and specifically, how we can collect race-based data. This data will help our Division to better understand how our BIPOC students are achieving, allowing us to target additional supports where needed.
Our schools are honouring Black History Month and celebrating the contributions that Black Canadians have made to our schools, our community and our city. In addition, our Division is planning on the development of locally-developed courses related to anti-racism education.
I believe that Edmonton Public Schools has an important role and responsibility in eliminating racism. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but every journey starts with one step. We can all take steps to reflect on our own biases and ensure our learning and working environments are free of racism, prejudice and oppression.
--Superintendent Darrel Robertson