Kootenay Columbia educators committed to inclusion

Letter to the Editor from School District 20 leaders

There is no denying the pain, sadness and anger that many are feeling given the recent events of racialized violence.

The Board of Education of SD 20 (Kootenay-Columbia), the Kootenay-Columbia Teachers’ Union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (Local 1285), the Kootenay-Columbia Principals’ Association, and the District’s Parent Advisory Council strongly believe that it is our moral duty to strongly denounce all forms of racism, bigotry, hatred and prejudice, and to inspire our staff, students and communities to engage in creating change.

Although racism is the current flashpoint igniting the passion and will of many to make the world a better place, the work for change needs to address all forms of discrimination including sexual orientation and gender identity, ageism, socioeconomic status, religion, people with unique needs, and so on.

Authentic acceptance, inclusion and belonging of all in our society is the ultimate goal.

One of the Board’s strategic directions reads, “Strengthen a culture of inclusion that respects and embraces diversity.”

The Board’s vision statement reads, “Our vision is to be an inclusive learning community where everyone has the opportunity to learn, achieve their full potential, and be empowered to pursue their aspirations.”

Two of the articulated values of the District are diversity and equity, while one of the belief statements is, “Developing compassionate, contributing members of society committed to making a difference is critical in the creating a better world.”

The Board and its stakeholders stand behind the above statements, not as empty words on a page, but as statements that guide how it is we collectively listen and respond, and plan and act moving forward.

The Board and its stakeholders remain committed to ensuring that our work in the District, and our work with our communities, continues and is focused on strengthening a culture of inclusion that respects and embraces diversity and supports a hopeful future for all.

Catherine Zaitsoff, Chair, Board of Education (School District 20, Kootenay-Columbia)

Bill Ford, Superintendent (School District 20, Kootenay-Columbia)

Patrick Kinghorn, President (Kootenay-Columbia Principals & Vice-Principals Association)

Andy Davidoff, President (Kootenay-Columbia Teachers’ Union)

Heather Skarbo, President (Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 1285)

Rachel Janzen, Chair (District Parents’ Advisory Council)

Letter to the Editor

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