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British Columbia has launched a new provincial anti-racism action plan for students in K-12 in an effort to create a more inclusive and equal experience for racialized students, staff and families across the province.
The Ministry of Education and Child Care says the plan, which was launched on Monday, will empower students and staff with new response guidelines to identify biases and address acts of racism or discrimination.
According to a news release, 58% of BC students say they have seen other students insulted, bullied or excluded based on their race or ethnicity.
"We know that Indigenous, Black and people of colour may face inequity within the education system," said Rachna Singh, minister of education and child care.
"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."
The K-12 Anti-Racism Action Plan will also include new training opportunities for school staff to help them understand how to foster anti-racist school environments.
I am proud to announce the launch of our K-12 Anti-racism Action Plan, today. This is a critical step forward for students, educators, staff and families as we all work to create welcoming schools ,supportive for Indigenous, Black and racialized people. https://t.co/B9jyrwYxpN pic.twitter.com/mSoSUdHcx1— Rachna Singh (@RachnaSinghNDP) January 23, 2023
One of the actions identified includes an annual event for Minister Singh to engage directly with the IBPOC community to hear their experiences, perspectives and recommendations.
Another action item includes two youth dialogue series; one for intersectional and diverse youth and on for Indigenous youth.
Other actions include anti-racism reporting requirements, calendars identifying significant events of advocacy and celebration, workshops with the BC Lions for grades 6-10 to explore and engage with issues of anti-racism.
The action plan will also look to develop a committee of education partners, including Indigenous partners, while growing diversity in the education workforce.
This action plan was developed through discussions over three years with students, rightsholders and Indigenous partners, education partners, educators and staff, as well as community organizations.
"For generations, Indigenous, Black and people of colour have worked to fit into a system that wasn't necessarily built for them," said 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.”