After a couple of years of consulation and getting the language right, the Comox Valley Schools Board of Education has voted to adopt an Equity and Non-Discrimination Policy.
The process began with a Board request in December of 2020. A special committee was formed that worked with the education policy committee on creating the language that formed the original draft of the policy.
In June 2021, the board passed a motion to have the draft policy circulate to all partner groups and community for feedback. Next steps will be figuring out what policies and procedures will be needed, with the goal of having schools in the district equitable for all and free of discrimination.
“We held several months of engagement with education and community partners and this policy has been well received,” said Tom Demeo, Superintendent, Comox Valley Schools. “We will be working on developing new administrative procedures that will determine how the policy is enacted and implemented in the district. Once again we’ll be considering the feedback we received from partners as we create procedures to roll-out the policy in schools.”
The Board says the new policy follows the letter and spirit of the Canadian Humans Rights Act, B.C. Human Rights Code, the B.C. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and the B.C. Multiculturalism Act. In a news release, it says “These Acts shall be observed, supported, and enforced, so that all members of the SD 71 community may work together in an atmosphere of respect where differences are honoured.”
“We are very grateful for the efforts of the special committee, education policy committee, district staff, and many education partners who helped create this important policy for Comox Valley Schools,” said Tonia Frawley, Board Chair for Comox Valley Schools. “It’s essential that all students and staff in SD 71 attend schools and school related events that are equitable for all and are free of discrimination.”
The Board of Education for Comox Valley Schools is committed to inclusive, equitable treatment and opportunities for all individuals throughout the system.
Comox Valley Schools staff will begin implementing the new policy in spring 2022.