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SD79 launches an anti-racism committee

"Striving to be a model for the community at large."

Thursday February 4, 2021 | DUNCAN, BC

by Mary P Brooke, editor | Island Social Trends

The Cowichan Valley School District (SD79) has launched an anti-racism committee.

“The Board is committed to equity among students and staff, and strives to be a model for our community at large,” it was stated in a release today.

The chair of the seven-member board is Candace Spilsbury. The other six trustees are Elizabeth Croft, Barb de Groot, Randy Doman, Rob Hutchins, Johanne Kemmler, and Joe Thorne.

“The Board knows that our schools reflect the community we serve and recent world-wide and local events have shone a light on racist attitudes, policies and practices that still occur within our communities,” the board stated in today’s release.

The committee will aim to critically examine the school district’s own biases, attitudes, beliefs, value and practices to facilitate truth and reconciliation. They will work to create an anti-racism policy for schools as places of study and places of work, around supporting a safe environment. There will be a mechanism to support representation of Indigenous, Black and persons and persons of colour within schools and workplaces for the District.

Incidents of racism will be responded to with “a fair and transparent process”, using a restorative justice model. The process will be inclusive of community organizations and partner agencies.

There are 17 elementary schools and five secondary schools in the Cowichan District.

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