Hold Edmonton Public School Board Accountable for Anti-Racism!

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We are appealing to the general public, who as students, past and present, parents and teachers understand the systemic racism embedded in Edmonton Public Schools. 

People like to think that Canada is ‘better’ than the US when it comes to systemic racism, however, this is not true. The Edmonton Public School system, along with the rest of the school systems in Canada, were built for the oppression of Indigenous Peoples. Cases of bullying rooted in racism involving Black and Indigenous students are far less likely to be dealt with fairly. Furthermore, Black students are more likely to be disciplined than their white counterparts because of their race, this is systemically rooted in the criminalization of Black and Brown students. If EPSB is committed to anti-racism, then it is crucial that they pair their statement (04/07/2020) with action. https://epsb.ca/news/boardoftrustees/newsitemboardstatementonanti-racism.html

ESPB’s policy on 'Multiculturalism' does not reflect the reality of what is seen in Edmonton schools. For many of us as former students in Edmonton Public schools, we suffered through a lack of representation and micro-aggressions, which propelled us to become educators ourselves, in order to create safe spaces and visibility for future generations. This has become an impossibility as Black teachers and other visible minorities are not hired and when they are, they are token teachers who are assigned to teach languages. EPSB needs to move beyond inclusivity and adopt explicit anti-racist policies. 

If EPSB truly believes in “promoting equality of opportunity” and “recognition of diversity” then EPSB must respond to the following demands: 

  1. It is critical that EPSB make a concerted effort to diversify their hiring practices AT ALL LEVELS. This would require EPSB to make a detailed action plan to hire teachers from backgrounds that have been historically discriminated against (i.e Black/Indigenous teachers and other visible minorities), as well as putting systems in place that hold principals accountable to these hiring practices.
  2. EPSB needs to publish the number of full-time teaching staff in relation to the number of racialized students (excluding teachers who are teaching language classes). Furthermore the number of visible minority Counsellors, Vice Principals and Principals that are employed.
  3. To commit to instituting clear and targeted anti-racist policies in every single school, EPSB must prioritize yearly, mandatory, anti-racist professional development for staff. This must be delivered from an external expert or organization that includes learning about and normalizing the use of language to address racism, including white supremacy and privilege.
  4. EPSB needs to be held accountable to the general public by releasing qualitative and quantitative data that details how anti-racism policies, initiatives, professional development and hiring practices are being implemented.

Share and sign to be a proponent of change in this city and in education! Visit @educatorsforantiracism on Instagram for updates and shareable links. Help us hold EPSB accountable! 

#educatorsforantiracism  #holdepsbaccountable #blackandindigenousstudentsmatter