Vancouver School Board passes motions to combat racism and discrimination

Dec 17 2019, 9:04 am

After multiple meetings and exhaustive debate, the Vancouver School Board has passed several motions that aim to combat racism and discrimination within school walls.

The most important motion passed by trustees aims to create a framework, including “a strategic plan with actions to address racism and discrimination.”

The plan will include an outline of short, medium, and long-term goals that fall under a one, three, and five-year range. The process will also include input from students of colour and individuals outside of the school.

Two subsequent motions were also passed. The first discussed how “acts of discriminatory student conduct can be improved,” particularly considering the personal impacts on students and the idea of using restorative justice.

The second subsequent motion was a policy manual that defined the school district’s stance on non-discrimination.

It also lists a number of commitments, such as providing adequate support to multicultural and anti-racist procedures and eliminating any form of racism and discrimination, to name a few.

Much of the school board’s discussion about creating anti-racism and anti-discrimination policies stems from a racist video that was made by a Lord Byng Secondary School student in 2018.

The video has since been taken down but reportedly showed a white student uttering slurs against Black people and stating his desire to line them up and throw an explosive at them.

During a Policy and Governance Committee meeting that took place in early December, a number of parents and students spoke personally of the struggles and hardships that they dealt with as a result of the video.