Division Statement on Anti-Racism
June 9, 2020 - There is no denying that we are all living in moments of history that generations of students will learn about and reflect on for years to come. For inexplicable and inhuman reasons, the focus from the global COVID-19 pandemic has shifted to a long overdue examination of systemic racial inequality headlined by the Black Lives Matter movement and brought to the forefront by the murder of George Floyd.
As many of the prominent voices that make up the narrative of this somber chapter in our history have pointed out, now is not the time to sit on the sidelines and observe. It’s time to be a part of the change.
In Parkland School Division (PSD), we have a Code of Conduct that guides our way as we all learn to resolve issues peacefully, develop empathy, and contribute to a welcome, caring, respectful and safe learning environment that fosters diversity and nurtures a sense of belonging with a positive sense of self. We re-pledge our commitment to upholding the Alberta Human Rights Act and will challenge students and staff to self-reflect on what it really means to accept every person, no matter their ability, disability, language, cultural background, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as the colour of their skin.
In PSD, we recognize that we will all have a role in developing future leaders who may someday be the policy makers who will pave the way for necessary systemic change. However, cultural change can happen now, beginning with all of us. Our students and staff will have those uncomfortable conversations on the topic of racial injustice. We can find our way forward to ensure that this chapter in history is not another that seems to be repeated just when a feeling of ‘everything is alright’ sets in.
Together, we can positively impact the world.
Board Chair, Parkland School Division
Superintendent, Parkland School Division