Amid reports of race-fueled incidents at Calgary schools, the Board of Education met with concerned parents Friday.
This follows a violent incident outside Western Canada High School in October, when two groups of students got into a fight which was reportedly sparked by racist comments.
Several people were injured in the brawl, and charges were laid by Calgary police.
Parents have come forward saying there is a widespread problem in the hallways, including the African Caribbean Canadian Association claiming black students are being targeted by white students.
Calvin Davies, Director of Area 7 — the CBE district that also includes Western Canada High School — said the meeting was productive.
“Engaged in a very healthy dialogue that together — students, parents and schools — the collective responsibility for developing a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment that respects diversity and nurtures a sense of belonging and a positive sense of self.”
This will not be the first dialogue between the CBE and parents, as another one has already been scheduled, and this issue will not disappear overnight.
“Schools are a microcosm of our society, we know that these kind of issues exist, and it leads us to continue to strive towards developing an environment that is safe,” Davies said.
Davies added, while it was unfortunate that such an incident forced this discussion into the forefront, it is good to talk about this.
“It was an opportunity for us to come together and see what we can do to try to eliminate that kind of abusive comments and language.”
Calgary police, citing the school resource officer at Western, say they have not seen a rise in race-fueled incidents in local schools.
Moving forward, Davies said administration, parents and students all need to play a part in preventing bullying, whatever form it may take, and the CBE will continue to work closely with police to make sure the issue does not become more prevalent.