Support for students in response to hatred

Limestone Learning Foundation
Support for students in response to hatred
Posted on 01/31/2022
Image of anti-racism graphicThe right to protest is a critical component of a democratic society. However, flags, symbols, and messages of hatred were displayed in Ottawa by some protesters over the weekend during a protest on Parliament Hill and in the downtown core. These symbols promote racism and white supremacy, and targeted a number of different communities. We cannot downplay the impact these kinds of events have on students, families, and staff.

Our reactions to hatred can shape how children and youth experience these events, and can influence their perceptions of safety. These events show us the importance of educating about human rights, inclusion, and acceptance in our schools. We will continue to address racism and the harm it causes in all our learning environments.

The best way to help those affected is to use your careful judgment and empathy.

The following suggestions may help you understand what some students and staff may be experiencing, and provide you some supportive ways to respond.

Listen and create an environment that acknowledges all feelings.

Do not bring media coverage into the classroom/home unless there is a specific educational reason to do so. Students should be given the choice not to participate.

Identify students who may be most affected by these events. Provide support that is age appropriate and based on the level of need.

For older students in need, provide a forum for discussion with adults skilled at fostering open and productive messages that build reassurance and therapeutic insight, such as Educational Services Support Staff, and/or school guidance counsellors.

We know that a disconcerting event like this affects all of us in different ways. If students need to speak to someone, please contact our Educational Services Department through your school.

In Limestone, we commit to educating our students in age-appropriate ways within a culture of caring with critical thinking, media literacy and empathy as our guide. Our goal is to create and support inclusive environments where everyone is welcomed, respected and valued – and safe.

Please contact your school directly if you have any questions, or require further assistance.

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.