Petition calling on CBE to address systemic racism in education system

Jun 24 2020, 2:19 pm

A new petition is calling on the Calgary Board of Education to address systemic racism in its educational structures.

The petition was created by the Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation in partnership with local teachers, and is specifically asking CBE to create an Anti-Racism Task Force.

“We are asking the Calgary Board of Education to be a leader in rooting out all forms of systemic racism,” said high school teacher Courtney Walcott, who spearheaded the petition, in a release from CCMF.

“The public-school system has been a tool for governments to perpetuate the problematic ideologies of the past onto our youth, directly allowing them to continue into our future.”

The release notes that systemic racism in the education system does not mean that staff or teachers are racists; instead, it is caused by a Eurocentric curriculum, a lack of representation from minority communities, and unconscious bias in practice and punishment.

The task force would ideally collect data based on a number of factors including race, gender, and socio-economic status.

It would then find problematic policies and practices within the board and create meaningful change through the development of an Anti-Discrimination course, the release states.

“This work is challenging. It is disruptive. However, at its core, it is the work that will have long term effects that align with the goal of public education,” said Walcott.

The petition can be found on change.org and has 3,700 signatures at the time of this article.