We condemn the terrorist attack on the US capitol that took place January 6, 2021. In keeping with our commitment to anti-racism, we, the STA Executive, condemn racism in all its forms. We believe racism and white supremacy were evident in the attack. We believe that it is imperative to speak out in solidarity and to also draw attention to the fact that Canada is not immune to the dangers of White Supremacy. In the past few months, we have seen it in the response to the Wet’suwet’en defending their land, racial profiling by police, Mi’kmaq fishers being attacked, and attacks on women on transit wearing the hijab. We know that ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’ which is why, as educators, we are ethically obliged to raise awareness of injustices. The events in Washington share characteristics with all actions that assert white supremacy everywhere and we are deeply concerned about such racial injustice. As part of an anti-racist teaching practice, it is important that we address clear racial inequalities present in the world and here in Canada. By naming the events that have transpired, we create opportunities for meaningful discussions about the world we live in, whether it is a brief conversation and check-in at the start of class or a complete lesson.

Acknowledging autonomy in the classroom, we hope that Surrey teachers will continue to debrief and discuss the historic events in the US with their students in an age appropriate, considerate manner that will help students to make sense of an event that will be in the textbooks of the future. We hope that we can come together as a collective of educators unified in our stance to oppose and speak out against all forms of racism.

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