The province is proactively tackling racism in schools across B.C.
A new community roundtable has been creating to support the development of an anti-racism action plan and to strengthen the K–12 curriculum, ensuring the culture, beliefs and ancestry of all students and staff are accepted, celebrated and understood.
Minister of Education Rob Fleming brought together community leaders from a wide range of groups to better understand the impact of racism on B.C. students and provide input into strengthening and developing new policies and programs that promote anti-racism.
The roundtable held its first meeting on Friday and will continue to meet as the action plan is developed.
“There is no place for racism, discrimination or intolerance in British Columbia – in our schools or anywhere else,” said Premier John Horgan. “We are bringing important voices to the table to help us bolster culture-based learning in the education system and build a better and more inclusive future for B.C.”
This is the first in a series of conversations to guide the ministry and B.C. education partners in understanding barriers faced by Indigenous students and students of colour.
Fleming has also asked the First Nations Leadership Council, the First Nations Education Steering Committee and Métis Nation BC to help set up a distinct Indigenous table and co-develop its approach.
A new student advisory group will also be formed in the fall to hear directly from students on their experiences.
President of the BC School Trustees Association, Stephanie Higginson says the roundtable is something that was needed for a long time.
“These conversations are necessary and long overdue. Developing an anti-racism action plan for B.C. is an important step in ensuring all students feel safe and welcome in our schools.”
“I am pleased that Minister Fleming is moving forward with this important initiative and that the ministry is committed to listening and learning from all voices in our province. Most importantly, BCSTA looks forward to working shoulder to shoulder with education stakeholders and rights holders to move from conversations to action.”
To learn more, visit the Government of British Columbia website.