Regina Public Schools to move forward with mandatory anti-oppression training

·1 min read

Regina Public School Board trustees have voted to make diversity and anti-oppression training mandatory for all school division staff.

At a meeting on Tuesday, the board voted unanimously to make the training compulsory for everyone from teachers to janitors.

"The face of Saskatchewan has been changing," said trustee Ted Jaleta, one of those who brought the motion forward.

"Having that extra tool provided for the teachers, we can provide them with more understanding."

Jaleta said the training could go a long way to help address biases embedded in the school system that work against some students.

"It's not an easy subject," he said.

"One of the challenging things for this issue is some of the systemic situations, the way the institution is established, the history. It takes time to change."

Jaleta said many students drop out of school after they're bullied because of their race. He said changes to the education system could ultimately help change society at large.

"Schools are where the seeds need to be planted for future generations," he said.

The motion also called for Black History Month be added to school guidelines for events endorsed by the division.

Jaleta said the idea for the anti-oppression training was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. Regina's Black-African Canadian Community also submitted a report asking for cross-cultural and anti-racism training.

It's not clear when the training will be implemented. The board's diversity steering committee will develop a training plan.