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NEWSLETTER

Metaphors for Mandela

WINTER/SPRING 2014 1

Global education in the classroom 2 Pleasant Valley clan initiative

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Linking our communities through culture: Ed May grant summary report 5 Latin American teachers build new pedagogical movement

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BC ALPHA now offering Asian Holocaust classroom presentations 9 Ending violence against women 10 Breaking the fever: How a dose of Israel/Palestine curriculum can treat Islamophobia and cultural intolerance

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Teaching about homophobia: Know where your support is

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How just are school policies on LGBTQ issues? A policy evaluation using the Capability Approach 15 Gay Straight Alliances: Past, present, and future

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School gardens give students the learning they need to create their best possible future 19 School gardens: Food for 21st Century Learning

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The Great Bear Rainforest and students of the West Kootenays 23 Book review: The Economics of Happiness: Building Genuine Wealth by Mark Anielski

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Fundraising in schools

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Social Justice Lens

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Home Safe

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Metaphors for Mandela by Nassim Elbardouh, Committee for Action on Social Justice, Antiracism Action Group

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. –Nelson Mandela

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pon the passing of Nelson Mandela, I asked myself how I could teach my students about his struggle to promote human rights and democracy while keeping with the Grade 8 English curriculum. I recalled my school associate, Anna Chudnovsky’s work with her students to develop summarization skills and effective paragraph writing through the use of a book entitled After Gandhi: 100 Years of Nonviolent Resistance. In this book there is a chapter dedicated to Nelson Mandela. Following her footsteps, I gave my students this chapter to read. Second, I asked them to read the article taking notes and paying close attention to the key terms. Once they were finished, students wrote expository paragraphs about one of the main concepts covered in the chapter while listening to songs written

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IN THIS ISSUE


for Mandela (we had recently studied lyric poetry). I am grateful to have a brilliant, thoughtful, and creative group of students with a keen interest in social justice. As with any class, there is a wide range of abilities: some students excel at showing what they have learned through their writing and others have learned the material, but struggle with written output. As we were wrapping up our unit on poetry, I wanted to give each of my students the opportunity to show what they had learned by writing a poem for Mandela, but in a style that emulated his character. Mandela often reminded the media that he was never alone in the struggle against apartheid, that the collective whole was greater than the individual. To engage this concept in an interactive way,

each individual in the class was tasked with writing a metaphor for Mandela and the metaphors were merged into a collective document. Once all the metaphors had been typed out, students created a collage poem derived from the now anonymous list of metaphors. Malena Mokhovikova, a student who is an English-language learner, created the following collective poem from the metaphors written by the English 8 class at Britannia Secondary School. This poem is a reminder of what can happen when our students work together, and that the collective whole is always greater than the individual. For Nelson Mandela and all those who made his work possible. Possible extension: In a social studies, music, or media studies class students could take

newspaper articles and song lyrics about Mandela and create collage poems by “remixing” the headlines and song lyrics.

Global education in the classroom by Dan Hula, Committee for Action on Social Justice, Peace and Global Education Action Group

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he term “global education” is tossed about in schools often. What does this term really mean, and what are its implications? I have been teaching since 1983, and have been involved in Global Education since the Alberta Teachers’ Association created a specialty council in this area in 1987. I took a sabbatical at the University of Alberta in 1992–93 to complete my coursework for a Masters of Education to study global education in depth, and consequently completed my thesis entitled “Colouring Outside the Lines: Global Education in the Classroom.”

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For a proper discussion of global education, the definitions must first be identified. Global education is much more than the four “Ds” of Diet, Dance, Dialect, and Dress. Global education is definitely not related to competitive economic globalization. The most comprehensive version of global education I have found comes from the UNESCO laureates in the year 2000, Swee-Hin Toh and Virginia Floresca-Cawagas. They identify six major components for the study of global education: Human Rights, Environmental Stewardship, Cultural Solidarity, Personal Peace, Structural Violence, and Militarization. These topics are then addressed through a process

of holistic understanding, dialogue, and conscientization, which leads to hope, leadership, co-operation, and empowerment. The essence of global education to me is really peace education, and this is the touchstone I use daily in the classroom. In the practice of teaching, global education negotiates a delicate balancing act. For the practitioner, there is an internalization process to reconcile one’s personal perception of global education with the day-to-day job of teaching students. For me, this takes the form of practicing global education as a form of evolution rather than rebellion. Another balance is the

BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014


offsetting of studying negative global issues with a consistent message of hope, expressed through highlighting myriad positive people and movements, and a belief that most people in the world are good and just, and want a decent life with healthy, happy relationships no matter which country they are from. What does global education in the classroom look like? A lot of good global education is much like good teaching. One little thing would be to put the countries of the world in alphabetical order as part of each week’s spelling list, and show students where they are on a map. To study current events, ask students about events they are aware of, then explore them from a variety of media sources. Ask students what their alternative solutions are to major problems like, “What are the pros and cons of drone warfare?” Make the effort to include aspects of their peer culture to subject concepts and projects. An example of this is a project I do to study ancient cultures. The students form “timetravelling rock bands” to plan a concert tour through three major cities in an ancient civilization, and

culminate the activity by performing a tribute song of their adventures in the form of a parody of a current song they like. In the process of this study, they compare the difference between what rich and poor people would have for average meals. It is also important to challenge underlying messages in our own society, such as having “being a billionaire” or “being in the popular group” as a measure of success.

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To teach a critical thinking component of global education, one must be a critical thinker themselves. Some useful resources include: Our School/Ourselves, Rethinking Schools, World Social Forum, The Council of Canadians, Z Communications, Rabble, Democracy Now!, and even Press TV. Against the odds of corporate media, there remain some reporters with integrity: Linda McQuaig, Chris Hedges, Amy Goodman, Robert Fisk, John Pilger, and Noam Chomsky. Great thinkers on the topic of education and its role in society remain in the writings of Jane Jacobs, Peter McLaren, Henry Giroux, Ira Shor, Paulo Freire, and Craig and Marc Kielburger (The World Needs Your Kid). This is by no means a comprehensive list, but some great starting points. Our children remain our future. They deserve the best we can give them.

Pleasant Valley clan initiative by Lesley Carter, Pleasant Valley School, Nanaimo

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very school has a unique student population that may gradually change over time. Not many schools encounter dramatic student change in one year. Pleasant Valley School in Nanaimo did experience such a change. In 2009, a neighbouring school closed and many students were then bussed to our school. Within this neighbouring school’s catchment is a large affordable-housing complex that houses families that BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014

are all of Aboriginal descent. Our school population became instantly higher and different needs became more apparent. During that school year, we also noticed that the newer families lacked a connection 3


to the school. They were rarely on-site and many students had difficulty settling in socially. A small committee of teachers organized themselves to look at how we could help the new families, particularly the larger Aboriginal population, feel welcome and have a sense of “belongingâ€? to our school. The Pleasant Valley Clan Initiative project was born. We wanted the whole school to be involved in building awareness, understanding, and acceptance of Aboriginal peoples. The culture of our school began to shift in this direction. We attended workshops given by Dr. Martin Brokenleg and felt that his Circle of Courage was a good place to start. We divided the whole school population into four multi-age animal clan groups (Eagle, Bear, Wolf, and Orca Whale) and attached attributes of Mastery, Belonging, Generosity, and Independence to each clan. We focused on teaching these attributes while engaging the students in full school activities that investigated First Nations, Northern Aboriginal, and MĂŠtis teachings. We had a new clan logo designed and t-shirts bought for every student and staff in the school that were worn for clan activities. For the past three years, our school has committed the first week in September to clan-group activities 4

that investigate the history, literature, culture, and present-day attitudes of a specific group of Canadian Aboriginal peoples. Throughout the school year, clan groups meet monthly to participate in further teaching or co-operative activities to reinforce celebrating diversity and social inclusion. We have also developed yearly events such as a family picnic and a family potluck to further engage families and our school community. These have been well received and are growing in attendance. This past year we held a School Project Celebration Day in the spring where all classes displayed and shared their learning from our Aboriginal focus on northern cultures. We are fortunate to have a local Elder who comes to our school twice weekly. He teaches our local Aboriginal language to many classes and drumming to a changing group of interested students. We also work closely with our district Aboriginal team who support our learning and teaching. The Ed May Social Justice Grant money was used to facilitate several guest speakers (throat singer, fur trader, local Aboriginal carver), teacher release time for planning and facilitating our clan activities, specialized literature and resources for teachers and students, and a school banner (that includes our locally designed clan logo and welcome in the local First Nations language) for welcoming families into our school. As a staff and school community, we are proud of the work we are doing. Pleasant Valley School has made an ongoing commitment to teaching social justice to our students and advocating for the rights and inclusion of all Canadian Aboriginal peoples. BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014


Linking our communities through culture: Ed May grant summary report by Heather McDonald, SMS teacher, North Okanagan-Shuswap Teachers’ Association social justice contact

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he goals and objectives of this project were as follows: To develop understanding, build relationships, celebrate diversity, and eliminate racism through cultural traditions, cultural performance, and inspirational workshops. This project received full support from the teachers at each of the three schools involved. I was the contact for the booking agent at Boxer Productions, because having one contact seemed to be the preferred method for the company. Each of the schools was kept in the loop and organized their on-site activities. Collaboration for dates and times was ongoing and in the end we managed to create a communitybased, rather than just a school-based, event. Through joint communication the three schools were able to juggle schedules for a May 2–3, 2013, event. This allowed us to integrate what was happening in each of the

schools to a Sacred Circle 24-hour drumming event. (The Sacred Circle group is a school district based Aboriginal youth leadership organization.) In each school, students were immersed in a First Nations cultural gathering from opening prayer, to a welcome to the traditional territory, and a performance by Dallas Arcand. Teachers received lessons prior to the performance. These lessons included: • Who are the Secwepemc? • What is the Secwepemc territory? • Elder respect and First Nations tradition. Teacher’s felt that the preteaching was important in creating an atmosphere of understanding and respect. Her worship, Mayor Cooper, and city councillor, Denise Reimer, were in attendance as well as the Education Co-ordinator for the Little Shuswap Band, the President of the Salmon Arm Métis Association, and numerous band members from Niskonlith, Little Shuswap, and Adams Lake. For many of these individuals, it was their first time in our school.

BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014

was amazing. When “ Dallas he played the flute, I knew exactly what relaxation felt like. It made me feel at peace. –Grade 6 student (boy)

Leadership students, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, French and English, MC’d the gathering and were hosts and hostesses for our honoured guests. The students were versed in Secwepemc culture as far as respect for guests, and each had a cultural gift for their respective visitor. These gifts included locally made pine needle baskets, birch bark baskets, and medicine pouches. The Education Co-ordinator and Elder from the Little Shuswap Band welcomed the group to the territory. She also honoured her grandson who was present in the audience. The President of the local Métis association and Elder gave the prayer. Our guests were honoured and then Dallas took the stage. Dallas Arcand’s hour with students was filled with stories of his personal journey as a student of his culture. He began with a cedar flute welcome song. This was followed by his version of hip-hop, and ended with his world famous hoop dancing. Throughout, he compared Cree traditions to those of the local Secwepemc people. The question and answer time at the end of his performance demonstrated the beginnings of building relationships, celebrating diversity, and the creation of a community of understanding. 5


book Indian Horse “ The has sparked some intense conversation in my French Immersion class. Many of the students had no idea that Native children were taken from their homes. When Diane read the excerpt from her mother’s book, the students were visibly shaken. Many deep discussions have followed. –Teacher, Grade 8

French Immersion As is tradition, leadership students were honoured for their contribution to the success of the gathering. A local business provided cloth pouches and each was filled with a candle which symbolized their inner “flame,” a pebble from a beach on Nootka Island (where Europeans first made contact with Aboriginal people as well as a symbol of keeping attached to Mother Earth and the environment), and a bracelet to symbolize friendship and connection to personal values. The experience was rich in culture and learning. Since the gathering, honouring the Secwepemc territory has become part of what we do in our schools. Most recently, the Sacred Circle drumming group performed a welcome song at an assembly. Things are moving forward in positive ways. Applying the Social Justice Lens to each stage of the project worked smoothly. Students from K–12, staff, city council members, band members, and parents had access to this cultural opportunity. With the addition of the 24-hour drumming event to the program, a greater number of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal members of

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the community were involved than what was originally planned for. The agency component is taking root in each building in a different way. In the middle school, leadership students embraced the idea of the gathering and gained confidence in their leadership abilities. Through the classroom teachings of Elder respect, the student body was empowered through this new knowledge and worked for the success of the group. Through the question and answer session it was clearly demonstrated that many students recognized and respected the agency of others. The format of the gathering set up a process for advocacy to take hold; built by the framework of honouring the traditional territory and the potential for welcome songs at each assembly. At the middle school, Grade 8 students were moved by comments that Dallas made during his performance.

was shy and didn’t want to “ Iparticipate in being a hostess at the gathering. I am glad that Ms. McDonald talked me into it. I was able to help the non-Native kids understand the traditions. –Grade 8 student

of Secwepemc ancestry Their teacher, in response, began reading a story by Kamloops writer Richard Wagamese. This was followed by a visit of the daughter of a residential school survivor who read from her mother’s newly published book on her residential school experiences. The rich conversation regarding the rights or lack of rights of Aboriginal peoples in Canada, and Canada’s history of racism in general, has been ongoing in a number of classrooms. In fact, I have gifted

the History of Racism in Canada poster to many classrooms. Building alliances with community groups was the hope for the solidarity action component of the Social Justice Lens. This has proven to be more exciting than I might have otherwise thought. During the planning of this event, I was invited to be a member of the Switzmalph Cultural Society. The opportunity will be invaluable in the healing that needs to take place in our community. I was also invited to attend a professional development event sponsored by the Switzmalph Cultural Society entitled Meeting Your Neighbours For the Very First Time. At this session, it was suggested that the society plan an Aboriginal Day event for Salmon Arm. It is happening. This will be Salmon Arm’s first ever Aboriginal Day event. Interconnections and finding common ground are happening and through the learning and teaching in our schools we will continue that growth. In many classrooms planning is already under way to build on what was learned this year. A plan to embrace the Métis culture will be a focus in the next school year. I would like to thank the BCTF Social Justice Program for the Ed May grant opportunity.

McDonald, could you “ Ms. please put Dallas’ flute music on. It helps me concentrate and self-regulate. It puts my brain on track. –Grade 6 student (boy)

BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014


Latin American teachers build new pedagogical movement by Nancy Knickerbocker, Director, Communications and Campaigns Division, BCTF

doesn’t change the world. Education changes “ Education people, so that they can change the world. –Paulo Friere ” Recife, BRAZIL—Emblazoned on enormous banners, the wise words and kindly face of the beloved Brazilian educator smiled down upon more than 700 teacherunionists from the 20 countries of Latin America, along with colleagues from Europe, the United States, and Canada. They were gathered together to participate in an audacious and inspiring process to create a radically new and uniquely Latin American pedagogical movement, one that affirms the central role of public education in building more just societies.

towards privatization, direct attacks on labour rights, threats and violence against teacher unionists, low pay, precarious contracts, devaluation of the teaching profession, dramatic class-based discrepancies in the quality of education, minimal expectations of public schools.

In the decade of the 1990s the power of the oligarchies ended, the dictatorships of the right fell, and the politics of colonialism became isolated and fragmented,” he said. But despite these political victories, the economic ideology of neo-liberalism continues to have a devastating impact on the lives of the poor.

By contrast, Yasky said: “We want a public school system that thinks critically, one that goes to the fountain of history to rebut the lies, one that trains free minds so students understand their rights, learning ways to live humanely in a society of equals, where all people have value.”

Its characteristics: Deep funding cuts to public services, a push

This was the second continentwide conference on the pedagogical movement

“Our pedagogical movement isn’t just something floating in the air on a temporal breeze. It is part of an ongoing struggle against governments that continue repressing people and bringing them to their knees,” said Hugo Yasky from the Argentine teacher union CTERA and president of the Latin American regional committee of Education International. In an impassioned address, Yasky described his pride in being present in the land of Paulo Friere at this pivotal moment in the history of public education in Latin America. “Inequality, poverty, and injustice continue to plague our countries, but we must never forget what we have achieved.

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organized by Education International, the global union federation representing teachers around the world. Combertty Rodriguez, EI’s senior coordinator for Latin America, explained that the founding conference took place in 2011 in Colombia, the most dangerous country in the world for teacher union leaders: 10 have been assassinated there so far this year alone. They chose Bogotá in order to send a strong message across the continent, a message of unity among teaching professionals and a deep commitment to working together— despite the enormous odds. National and subregional meetings held since then have engaged hundreds more teacher-activists in the process. Roberto Leao, president of the hosting union CNTE Brazil, said this is all part of “the struggle to plant the seeds of a kind of pedagogy that is truly in the interests of all our peoples...one that reflects our colours, our sunshine.”

public “ When education is at risk,

injustice is on the rise. –Jaime Gajardo, president of the Colegio de Profesores de Chile

Paulo Freire’s legacy lives on Born on September 19, 1921, near Recife on the east coast of Brazil, Paulo Friere’s early years were marked by the Great Depression and the death of his father when he was 12. Having suffered hunger in childhood, he had keen insight into the impact of poverty on children’s ability to learn. Young Paulo struggled in school, falling four grades behind his age peers. However, he went on to study law, philosophy, and the psychology of language. Later, working with impoverished illiterate adults, Friere developed a revolutionary method of teaching literacy. Of his many books, Friere is best known for Pedagogy of the Oppressed, one of the seminal works in critical pedagogy, published in 1968. Since then educators across Latin America and, indeed, around the world have been inspired by his work. He died in Sao Paulo in 1997. As an homage to his legacy, the Brazilian teachers’ union CNTE commissioned a bronze statue of Freire to be unveiled during the pedagogical movement conference. “There are so many statues of generals and colonizers and oppressors all over Latin America. Now we are raising a statue to the enormous example of Paulo Friere,” said CNTE president Roberto Leal.

The bronze statue created by local artist Abelardo da Hora at Federal University of Recife

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BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014


BC ALPHA now offering Asian Holocaust classroom presentations by Thekla Lit, President and founder of BC ALPHA 2009, BC ALPHA has organized the annual International Human Rights Day Student Symposium (IHRDSS) hosted by Vancouver Technical Secondary School.

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or over 16 years, the British Columbia Association for Learning & Preserving the History of WWII in Asia (BC ALPHA) has worked to foster understanding, redress, and reconciliation related to crimes against humanity committed during the Asia-Pacific War. A primary focus of the organization’s efforts has been making sure that today’s youth are given the opportunity to extend their understanding of WWII beyond the European stage, and to learn valuable lessons from this past that will inform their thoughts and actions as global citizens. That’s why, in 2000, BC ALPHA started working with the BC Ministry of Education and Canadian educators to integrate the history into the provincial secondary school curriculum. By 2001, the Ministry, in partnership with BC ALPHA, developed the teacher’s guide Human Rights in the Asia Pacific 1931–1945: Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship to support Social Studies 11, History 12, Social Justice 12, and Law 12 curriculums. In order to further support the teaching of this history, BC ALPHA has taken BC educators on the Canada ALPHA Peace and Reconciliation Study Tour to Asia since 2004. In addition, starting in

Building on these successful initiatives, BC ALPHA is excited to now offer classroom presentations to secondary schools in the Lower Mainland. The presentations are similar in format and content to the workshops offered at the IHRDSS, but can respond more flexibly to the needs of each class or group. At present, we offer the following three presentation themes: • The Forgotten Holocaust—This presentation offers an overview of atrocities committed during the Asia-Pacific War, covering in brief the Nanking Massacre, the “Comfort Stations,” and forced labour. Students examine the short- and long-term impacts of these human rights violations, and become aware of how these past atrocities affect regional and global dynamics today. • “Comfort Women” and Gender-based Violence— Students learn about the Japanese military sexual slavery system during WWII in Asia, and about the surviving “Comfort Women” who have spearheaded the now internationally recognized movement for truth and reparations.

BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014

Students explore the issue through the lenses of colonial, military, state, race, class, and gender oppression. Links are also established between the “Comfort Women” system and contemporary forms of genderbased violence, including sex trafficking, and sexualized violence in conflict. • Human Experimentation and Biochemical Warfare—In this presentation, students learn about the human medical and biochemical warfare research conducted by Dr. Ishii Shirō and Imperial Japanese scientists during the Asia-Pacific War. Students also look at the motives for, and players behind, impunity for the war criminals responsible for these atrocities. The ethics of medical research and biochemical warfare development are explored in depth. The presentations are engaging, thought provoking, and promote a critical understanding of our relationship with the past. They draw on both first-hand accounts and academic research to offer balanced and informed perspectives on

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some very complex and contentious issues. While the topics by nature deal with quite horrific moments in our collective history, the ultimate message is one of hope: hope for a future free from the horrors of war and based on the respect of universal human rights. The presentations are given by BC ALPHA’s newly appointed Education Director, Heather Evans, who spent six years volunteering in South Korea with the House of Sharing’s residence and museum for survivors of Japanese military sexual slavery. She’s also worked closely with the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, as well as with several international anti-sex trafficking organizations and initiatives. Ms. Evans works with teachers to integrate presentations into their curriculums, and to ensure that jointly established learning goals are met. Pre- and post-presentation activity and project suggestions are also available. What’s more, schools that host presentations are given book and DVD resources for their libraries to support continued learning about the Asian Holocaust. For more information or to request an in-class presentation, please contact BC ALPHA at bcalpha@alpha-canada.org or education@alpha-canada.org. Please also take a few minutes to visit BC ALPHA’s website at www.alphacanada.org and learn more about the organization’s work. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Ending violence against women by Carol Arnold, Corie McRae, Kristin Quigley, and Viji Shanmugha, Committee for Action on Social Justice, Status of Women Action Group

Rudyanto Wijaya/iStock/Thinkstock

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n December 16, 2012, a 23-year-old woman was returning home after watching a movie with a male friend in southern New Delhi, India. What happened next is perhaps well known, thanks to the international media attention. The brutal rape and murder of the woman, who came to be known internationally as “braveheart,” caused widespread protests across India. These protests lead to the government appointing a committee to suggest amendments to existing laws, especially with regard to violence against women. Most of the recommendations of this committee were accepted and changes were made to the laws. New criminal offences include adding the death penalty for rape convictions, as well as new legal sanctions created to eradicate voyeurism, stalking, sexual harassment, and attacking with acid with intent to disfigure. These changes in law have not yet made a difference in reducing the incidences of rape or violence against women. There were reports of a Mumbai photojournalist being gang raped and her male friend tied up and severely beaten after the changes to the laws were made. In India, a total of 244,270 crimes were reported against women in 2012. Given India’s population (of more than one billion) that number may not be as staggering as it looks. Many crimes, however, go unreported, because of the social and cultural structures and the burden of shame it imposes on women. India’s reputation for not keeping women safe is shared by other countries around the globe. Since the revolution began in Egypt in the spring of 2011, women in that country have experienced a surge in the incidents of harassment and sexual assaults. The World Health Organization (WHO) released a multicountry survey in November 2012. According to this survey most acts of violence against women were by an intimate partner (as high as 71%), and there are areas in the world where up to 30% of women report that their first sexual experience was forced. Most of the time our understanding of violence toward women is that it takes a sexual form or, in the case of intimate partner violence, it could also be physical. Women are also targets of gun violence where perpetrators of BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014


violence specifically target women. For example, in Pakistan Malala Yousafzai, who was shot for going to school, or the Montréal Massacre in Canada, where the targets again were women, are a different kind of violence against women. The consequences of violence against women are explained in the WHO document. Apart from the physical consequences of facing violence like fibromyalgia, constant pain, and poor overall health, women face other complications such as unintended pregnancies, complications due to induced abortions, sexually transmitted diseases, etc. The emotional repercussions of facing violence can lead to sleep disorders, depression, stress disorders, distress, and even suicide attempts. It can also lead to increased abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

to aid their efforts to catch the perpetrators. Women are encouraged to report what happened directly to the website HarassMap and pinpoint the exact location. When possible, they include photos and videos. Representatives of HarassMap are, ultimately, dedicated to changing attitudes toward women as well as being the vanguard for fighting violence against women. Violence against women cannot and should not be treated as a women’s issue, but as an issue that affects us all. How society treats one section of its members is a reflection on its values. There has been an increasing awareness that men need to take a stand against the issue of violence against women mainly because it affects society as a whole. Some organizations committed to the cause of ending violence against

women have asked prominent men to speak on behalf of the cause. The Ending Violence Association of BC has the BC Lions as their spokespersons in a campaign called “Be More Than A Bystander.” (The BCTF is a sponsor of this campaign.) In India too, an organization called Men Against Rape and Discrimination (MARD) has taken the initiative and got prominent athletes and actors to talk about respecting women. As teachers we are aware of the change we can create in the minds of young men and women when we teach. Let us create a positive change by teaching the young men of today to respect women. Let us create a positive change by teaching young men that all violence is wrong, especially violence that targets persons who are not their equal physically.

The social and economic costs of intimate partner and sexual violence are enormous and have ripple effects throughout society. Women may suffer isolation, inability to work, loss of wages, lack of participation in regular activities, and limited ability to care for themselves and their children. It is hard to ignore that children are invariably affected. The WHO document states that children who grow up in families that have violence have behavioural and emotional difficulties.

BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014

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Different cultures equip women to cope with their situations differently. Egyptian women have developed a unique strategy for dealing with this growing problem. When someone experiences or witnesses an assault they are able to alert an online organization called HarassMap. This group has been using Google Maps 11


Breaking the fever: How a dose of Israel/Palestine curriculum can treat Islamophobia and cultural intolerance by Annie Ohana, Committee for Action on Social Justice, Antipoverty Action Group Take a minute to think about the following questions: • How does media (both traditional and new social media) define your culture, your religion? • Are there often positive or negative connotations that go along with the region you come from or from where your heritage is based? • When you open a textbook, do you see yourself represented somewhere in those pages? Are the representations and/or facts accurate? • How often is what you believe (faith-wise) considered dangerous and hostile, the antithesis of what the “majority” believes? These questions are meant to make an individual reflect on what (if any) cultural intolerances they might face. What I have come to realize as a teacher is that, however you answered the questions, our duty as educators is to help kids learn critical thinking skills that will aid them in combatting all cultural intolerances present in all our lives. It is imperative to note that even if one is not part of a specific faith or culture that is facing intolerance (I, for example, am a Sephardic Jew), it does not absolve one of the responsibility to stand up to such corrosive and dangerous attitudes.

Monkey Business Images/Thinkstock

Over the past year I have been working with the Peace and Global Education Action Group of the Committee for Action on Social Justice on an Israel/Palestine Resource Guide for social studies and social justice teachers. In working on this guide I have come to realize that by addressing such a complex issue (and one rarely seen in

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textbooks) we are in fact helping to break what often seems to be a feverish “don’t go there” taboo around the Middle East conflict. But perhaps I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s take a step back and define Islamophobia and how it affects our own students. Islamophobia can rear its ugly head in a variety of ways. Simply speaking, it is a hostile attitude toward Islam and Muslims that treats those practising Islam as a threat and an enemy. Islamophobia is also the images we see in various media that paint such a broad stroke when describing Islam, often utilizing images, characters, and plot points that never stray from the violent culture, terrorism-condoning, backward civilization discourse. Now imagine what it would feel like as a student. If everyone around you, from your peers to your teachers saw you in that way. That in their years of relentless consumption of formal curriculum, media, and pop culture, this is how your identity was defined. Yes, this is a bleak picture. The good news is that it is not one we as educators need to accept. The solution is simple and simply common sense. We need to introduce our students to case studies about different cultures and beliefs that they may not see in their textbooks or that might be considered “too complicated.” Better yet, allow students to look into their own


backgrounds; give them back their power by letting them define who they are, what their culture and faith represent. Instead of letting the media discourse control who they are, let them build a new paradigm that allows them to feel positive about themselves, allows them to add to the curriculum so they see themselves in what they learn, and shatters the stereotypes that are often left unquestioned. As teachers we can help the solution along by using resources such as the Israel/Palestine Resource Guide to engage students in discussions and units that allow them to explore the complicated and difficult. How incredible it was for me when speaking about Israeli/Palestinian issues (and connecting them to First Nations issues within Canada) that students were interested, wanted to learn more about a region they are often told is “crazy,” and with a little thinking were able to come up with questions and solutions that were steeped in the belief of equality and recognition for all. By trusting my students with content that even adults don’t want to engage in, the atmosphere in my classroom changed dramatically and stereotypes that once dominated the way they thought about so many people fell away and were replaced with something more truthful and more positive for all. This feverish desire that has been so prevalent in the past, of painting everything black and white and reinforcing beliefs that were quite simply wrong, needs to be broken. There is no place for any cultural intolerance in our classrooms. Within the context of Islamophobia, the introduction of subject matter that nurtures a truer understanding of Islam allows us to open our eyes to the prejudices still present, and actually nurtures a peaceful co-existence amongst us all. Instead of alienating some, it creates a healthy new whole. I encourage you to get out there and engage in the complex, the difficult, and the different. It isn’t just what our students need, it is what our students deserve. Montage – Various images/Thinkstock 13


Teaching about homophobia: Know where your support is by Shannon Rerie, Committee for Action on Social Justice, Peace and Global Education Action Group

S

tanding up in front of a class of 30 pairs of watching eyes, my hands shaking and my heart pounding, I start the conversation about antihomophobia, racism, sexism, acceptance, and diversity. I have this conversation every year in my class and every year I fear it will go sideways and that the backlash from parents will begin anew. We’ve all had those thoughts when teaching a controversial issue. Whether we’re teaching about Israel/Palestine, the Tsilhqot’in War, antihomophobia, or, in some districts, sexual education, we fear how the class will react, how parents will react, and if we are setting ourselves up for a fall. A few years ago, at the New Teachers’ Conference, I picked up some “homophobia-free zone” posters for my wall. I naively put up the posters all over the school and my classroom and before I knew it I was knee-deep in controversy. Parents were calling administration to have their students pulled from my class for promoting gayness, students were going out of their way to test my antihomophobia policy, and our discussions on acceptance and diversity were rapidly going sideways. As a new teacher I was scared of the controversy but also realized that it was necessary. Thankfully I had a supportive administration, and a supportive social justice rep with our local union. I still

remember Amar Sull purposefully going around and putting up the “homophobia-free zone” posters on every available space, and challenging an administrator who questioned whether that was really necessary. Teaching about antihomophobia wasn’t easy though. I had teachers corner me in the library to question why I was doing this in a small community that decided I was clearly gay and had a gay agenda. One parent accused me of being antiheterosexual. It was exhausting and emotionally draining and I spent the better part of a year in tears. Was it worth it though? I have now run the Gay/ Straight Alliance in both secondary schools in Williams Lake for five years and I believe that I have made a difference. A counsellor, returning to the school after a few years, told me that she has never seen the environment so accepting and so many kids comfortable with being out of the closet. So was it worth it? Definitely, and I would do it again. The key to teaching controversial issues, in my opinion, is knowing where your support is, who to turn to in order to help back you up, and having the materials and resources necessary to teach the issue properly. No one likes to teach a subject and realize they don’t know enough to handle any questions or backlash, so be prepared. Having a supportive network, knowing how the BCTF and your local union can protect you, is essential. We must remember that as teachers we help students think critically about their own biases and their own ideas. We are not telling them what to think, we are providing them with a safe environment to look at issues, perhaps through the Social Justice Lens, and to arrive at their own conclusions based on the facts presented. I hope I have helped a few students in my small town realize that just because a kid decides they are gay, it doesn’t make them a bad person, it just makes them human. Shannon Rerie teaches at Williams Lake Secondary School. Reprinted from Teacher Newsmagazine, Nov./Dec. 2013.

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BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014


How just are school policies on LGBTQ issues? A policy evaluation using the Capability Approach by Vigi Shanmugha, Committee for Action on Social Justice, Status of Women Action Group

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n spite of advances in law and rights in Canada, the topic of queer sexuality is one that remains uncomfortable. There is considerable evidence that students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, or questioning (LGBTQ), and students who are perceived as LGBTQ, are not equal participants in the educational experience. They are harassed verbally and physically, have a higher than average drop-out rate, and may become homeless or sexually exploited. Such harassment is preventable and can be stopped. Mainly thanks to the intervention of courts, laws have been passed in British Columbia and throughout Canada that guide and mandate school districts to pass policies on homophobic bullying. What do these policies aim for? Is prevention of bullying and punishing the bullies the only goal? Or are policies there to help and support marginalized youth so that they are better integrated? Social justice becomes crucial in understanding the need for policy, and the purpose of such policy. To help us understand what policy should aim for, I have turned to an approach that is not well known in North America, an approach called the Capability Approach. It was developed by Nobel Prize winning economist Dr. Amartya Sen, and has been used world wide in the analysis and measurement of social policy by other scholars like Dr. Martha Nussbaum and Dr. Harry Brighouse.

The Capability Approach starts with the premise that everyone has different abilities. These are called commodities. These include age, social class, religion, race, gender, and sexual orientation. The commodities are then converted into capabilities. The conversion factors form the personal, environmental, and social conditions that help such convertibility. Public education is a good example of a conversion factor. Capabilities are the capacity or potential to become anything you want to be. Conversion factors are resources that help, but can also be restraints: if a young woman drops out of school because of harassment then public education has not helped her convert her commodities into capabilities. Once a person has the capability, she or he exercises her or his choice and becomes something. That is the final goal—to achieve optimum functioning.

Commodities Conversion factors Capabilities Choice Functioning To measure the effect of policy (a conversion factor) scholars like Sen, Nussbaum, and others argue that the role of such policy is to ensure everyone has equal capabilities. The Capability Approach holds that resources or money are inadequate

BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014

indicators off well-being because human beings have both varying needs for resources, and varying resources to convert capabilities to functions. Consequently, two people with the same quantity of resources may differ greatly in the ways that matter most for social justice. Although the difference in commodities may not be significant, the real opportunities (i.e., the capabilities) to live a valued life may differ significantly (Reindal, 2009). For example consider two boys, Mike and Tom. Let us imagine that they both have similar backgrounds in that they live with both parents, both parents work, each is the only child of their parents, the families have similar social networks, and that they go to the same high school. On the surface it would seem they have similar commodities. If one of them was gay that factor alone would not or should not affect his potential capabilities. But if he was bullied because of his sexuality, and as a result he dropped out or was scorned by family and former friends and became homeless, then we are looking at two very different capabilities sets. What could be done to prevent the unequal outcome would be the intervention of policy as a conversion factor. The Capability Approach as developed by Dr. Sen, does not give us a list of essential capabilities to be considered for policy evaluation. But Dr. Martha Nussbaum, well-known American 15


philosopher, does give us one. The central theme of her list is human dignity, and her objective is offering it as a basis for political principles that governments should guarantee for its citizens.

to be just (by just I mean that it also addresses the needs of the students who are bullied, not just punish the bullies): 1. Antiviolence, including verbal and physical bullying and destruction/defacement of property. (This is two fold: the safety of students involved, as well as whether there are clear procedures to handle such bullying.) 2. Reducing student drop-out rates. 3. Counselling support or creation of roles within existing staff for students to talk to.

If the Capability Approach is used as a framework that defines social justice, it then becomes imperative that policies need to have certain must-haves to meet the requirements of justice. Using Nussbaum’s list and comparing it with the LGBTQ literature, a school policy needs to address the following seven must-haves for it

4. Encourage formation of Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs). 5. Inclusion of LGBTQ issues in the curriculum so that they see themselves reflected positively. 6. Inclusion of families headed by LGBTQ parents and or involvement with the LGBTQ community. 7. Appropriate teacher training. At the time of writing the paper, 19 school districts out of 60 had policy in this area. The following table is a summary of findings as to whether the policy of these 19 districts meets the criteria below:

Summary of district policies: Do the provisions of the policies meet the criteria set by the Capability Approach?

District No.

Safety (bullying)

Clear procedures to handle the bullying

Counselling support

GSA

Inclusive Teacher curriculum training

Is the training mandated?

Parents/ community

Student drop-out

5

Yes

No

No

No

Res. List

Yes

Yes

No

No

27

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

33

Yes

*

How?

No

No

Yes

Yes

No

No

39

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

41

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

44

Yes

No

No

No

No

Yes

No

No

No

45

Yes

*

Yes

Yes

***

Yes

Yes

No****

No

46

Yes

No

How?

No**

Res. List

No

No

Res. List

No

50

Yes

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

52

Yes

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

59

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

61

Yes

Yes

No

No

***

Yes

Yes

No

No

62

Yes

No

How?

No

Res. List

Yes

Yes

No

No

63

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No****

No

64

Yes

No

How?

No**

Res. List

Yes

Yes

No

No

68

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

71

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

74

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

81

Yes

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

Clear procedures—* Partially clear, some instructions. Most districts leave it to individual schools to handle the bullying. Counselling support—How? Districts state they will provide counselling support but do not state how they will do it. GSA—** Instead of creation of GSAs, they say that age appropriate activities will be provided. Inclusive curriculum—*** Use to develop positive awareness, use to acknowledge diversity (does not specify LGBTQ). Inclusive curriculum—Res. List: Resource List provided to schools, but no mention of how that list will be used. Parents/community—**** Only with community, no LGBTQ parents mentioned.

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BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014


Justice requires that the state (school district) not only protect all students, but also ensure that all students leave with full emotional and social development, with the skills to make choices about who they want to be. In other words, with a full set of capabilities. Introducing change based on social justice requires a sustained effort, working with all sectors to ensure that the groups that are marginalized are not isolated further. School districts should have clear, distinct, and descriptive policies in consultation with the LGBTQ community, with a strong emphasis on mandatory training and implementation. The policy must have its basis in the distribution of social justice. A central list of capabilities should be identified that could be both universal and specific to the district population. Training for staff should not only be on handling homophobic bullying but also with regard to other issues of LGBTQ. Creation of a GSA must be mandatory when a student requests it. Districts should take all measures to include LGBTQ parents and community. The policy should have a yearly audit within schools to identify gaps and strengthen it if needed. Governments (read school districts) should be held accountable for social justice as well as for academics. Literacy is a goal for many school districts. Social justice should be a goal too. Literacy programs are allotted resources and results are measured with discipline and intensity. Social justice should be allotted resources and measured with similar vigor.

Gay Straight Alliances: Past, present, and future by Michelle Cheng and Airdrie Miller, secondary teachers in Vancouver The first Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) has been traced back to 1988. It was established at Concord Academy, an independent, coeducational college preparatory boarding and day school for grades 9-12, located in Concord, Massachusetts. Canada’s first GSA was started ten years later at Pinetree Secondary School in Coquitlam, British Columbia. “Broadly defined, a Gay Straight Alliance is a youth-led organization whose main objective is to create and foster safe environments for all youth, regardless of gender identity and/or sexual orientation” (Macintosh 2005, p. 44). Heteronormativity refers to “the way in which schools and society place expectations upon students and teachers to look and act heterosexual in all situations” (Chamberlain and Kothlow, 2012, p.8). Heteronormativity provides a framework from which to explain how and why the violence toward gender nonconforming students is perpetuated (Toomey, McGuire & Russell, 2012). Disruptions to heteronormativity can be subtle, or occur more overtly. For example, a male youth may be called “gay” because he stands-out as dressing differently, irrespective of his gender. More disruptively, a transitioning girl may return from summer holiday looking more like a boy than a girl, confusing both staff and students. Sexual minority youth attending a school with a GSA are less likely to experience school victimization (Goodenow et al, 2006), substance abuse, depressive symptoms, and

BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014

suicidality (Heck et al, 2011). In addition, anti-bullying policies may benefit heterosexual students as well, particularly those who are perceived to be lesbian, gay or bisexual (Konoshi et al, 2013). There is every indication that the need for and popularity of GSAs will continue to grow. Teachers in British Columbia can access many resources on the BCTF website that directly provide step-by-step instructions to starting a GSA in secondary schools. But is this enough? “Despite the fact that LGBTQ issues are being embraced by teacher unions across the country, anti-homophobia professional development opportunities are varied” (Chamberlain and Kothlow, 2012). One disturbing trend with GSAs is that most are started by and almost entirely led by students. By making students responsible for their own emotional safety in school, the system is performing an act of symbolic violence against the school community. Symbolic violence, a term that originates from French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, refers to power relationships where the dominator controls everyday social constructs by subversive and unconscious acts that maintain the status quo. Schools are silently encouraging the dominance of heteronormativity by not giving credible power to the voices of antihomophobia. Power over queer issues at the school level is left in the hands of the youth, giving the issues less validity in the process. 17


Even the term “GSA Club” implies that the topic is recreational, like the “Badminton Club” or the “Debate Club.” The choice to make the victims of homophobia responsible for their own safety is symbolic violence. This situation needs to change in the future. Macintosh (2004) suggests there needs to be change to both curricula and school culture, and that this should be directed by teachers and administrators in order for everyone to take it more seriously. One approach might be to view homophobia as a public health issue. GSAs not only improve student academic success and feelings of belonging, but significantly improve overall well-being and reduce suicide attempts. It could be argued that challenging heteronormativity is actually a public health issue. Our society assigns public health issues to professionals, not the victims/ patients themselves. Public health agencies could work with schools to improve student health through anti-homophobia campaigns. The “Out in Schools” program is an excellent example of these services already beginning, but more widespread work needs to be done. A climate of fear and discomfort exists for educators in addressing LGBTQ issues. Many districts lack a clear anti-homophobia policy, and this needs to change. Changes to the curriculum must also happen. Sexual identity and gender should be taught by direct instruction alongside other similar topics that are currently introduced in schools at age-appropriate intervals. In order to be successful, changes to the curriculum will need to be flexible and resilient to governmental change.

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Michelle Cheng and Airdrie Miller are both secondary school teachers with the Vancouver School Board. This is an excerpt from an academic paper they completed as part of their studies toward a Master of Educational degree in Leadership through Social Justice, at the University of British Columbia. (© 2013). References Chamberlain, J., & Kothlow, A. (2012). Disrupting heteronormativity in schools. (Unpublished dissertation). University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC. Goodenow, C., Szalacha, L. Westheimer, K. (2006). School support groups, other school factors, and the safety of sexual minority adolescents. Psychology in the Schools. 43(5), 573-589.

Heck, N. C., Flenje, A., Cochran, B. N. (2011). Offsetting risks: high school gay-straight alliances and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. School Psychology Quarterly. 26(2), 161-174. Konishi, C., Saewyc, E., Homma, Y., & Poon, C. (2013). Population-level evaluation of schoolbased interventions to prevent problem substance use among gay, lesbian and bisexual adolescents in Canada. (Unpublished dissertation). University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC. Macintosh, L. B. (2004). Queering the body’(s) politic?: GSAs, citizenship and education. Thesis. Publisher: The University of British Columbia Toomey, R. B., McGuire, J. K., & Russell, S. T. (2012). Heteronormativity, school climates, and perceived safety for gender nonconforming peers. Journal of Adolescence, 35(1), p. 187-198.


School gardens give students the learning they need to create their best possible future by Julie D. Johnston and Shelley Serebrin

Global climate change and other ongoing persistent global environmental problems “threaten humanity’s very survival... The need couldn’t be more urgent...to act now to safeguard our own survival and that of future generations.”

–United Nations Environment Programme

Though we’re not quite ready to admit it, global climate change is changing the purpose of education and the role of teachers. Our greatest imperative as educators, the 21st century has decided, is to help ensure each student’s right to a safe and healthy future (that is, their survival) while also equipping them with the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind and heart they will need in order to create the best possible future out of the climate disruption we are at present bequeathing them.

have reached a point “ We of planetary emergency… Staying above 350 ppm CO2 for long risks irreversible catastrophic effects.

–Dr. James Hansen, Climate Scientist

the face of an absolutely “ Inunprecedented emergency, society has no choice but to take dramatic action to avert a collapse of civilization.

–Blue Planet laureates

Most people are aware of the great dangers of increased temperatures, sea level rise, or extreme weather events. The greatest threat posed by climate disruption is the devastating impacts of those dangers on our food crops and water sources. This means that a 21st century education must give learners some (back to) basic survival skills—and that doesn’t mean firemaking and shelter-building in the woods.

The world“is beyond dangerous interference and is facing a risk of global climate catastrophe.” –Prof. John Holdren, Assistant to

President Obama for Science and Technology

Our students need to be learning how to: • build soil • grow and preserve food • save seeds • collect rainwater • generate energy, using non-burning perpetual energy technologies • forage and wildcraft (correctly identifying and carefully using wild plants for food and fibre). We have evolved over the last 10,000 years into a species dependent on agriculture, and agriculture is dependent on a relatively stable climate— which we’ve had since the last glacial period receded about 12,000 years ago. But global warming is now leading to climate variability, which threatens our food security at the same time that genetically modified crops, terminator seed technologies, and multinational corporations threaten our food sovereignty.

BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014

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Although climate change is speeding up faster than all scientific predictions and climate model projections, we in North America still view it as a creeping event, not the emergency it is. Ask the millions of people in more vulnerable parts of the world—those who are losing their livelihoods and their loved ones, their food security and water sources, their homes and entire homelands—whether climate chaos is inching along. “Climate change and the carbon-intensive economy are responsible for 5 million deaths each year – 400,000 due to hunger and communicable diseases aggravated by climate change” (DARA, 2012). The problem is that losing our crop productivity isn’t a neat, linear process. It’s much like the story of the pond scum, which started as a tiny dot but grew exponentially until it went from covering half the pond one day to smothering the whole pond the next. Despite the warnings from climate scientists who understand systems theory, positive feedback loops, tipping points, and how life works on Earth, our education system still acts as though climate change isn’t changing anything. We adults haven’t stopped spewing 90 million tons of carbon dioxide (plus other greenhouse gases) into the atmosphere every day, so the Arctic meltdown of summer ice and snow continues. That means we’re losing the “air conditioner” of the Northern Hemisphere’s growing season, making food growing more and more tenuous. As drought increases in the world’s great grain belts (remember the crop failures in Russia in 2010 and the US in 2012), growing food on huge farms becomes more and more difficult. If we don’t

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acknowledge the problem while it’s fermenting, we’re not going to be ready for it when it blows. That’s because we can’t grow food overnight, nor can we learn to grow food overnight. So by the time we see the need to “adapt” to changing weather patterns, shifting seasons, extreme weather events, and devastating heat waves and droughts or floods, it will be too late to adapt. People of all ages and every institution could be planting and permaculturing all their available land (a sports field might soon become a luxury) and watching to see which crops are adapting best to regional changes in the climate. In the meantime, we can be composting school lunch waste and paper towels and building soil to turn less fertile areas into gardens. All else (including the 3Rs, which we still teach without any sense of overarching urgency or usefulness in the climate change fight) could, in our students’ foreseeable future, become moot and irrelevant (seemingly overnight if the allegory of the exponentially growing pond scum comes true) if not taught in service to the Earth and the future of the children (not to mention future generations of all species). Today’s focus of education is simply not a priority for (and will not feed) those who are suffering from crop failures, food shortages, famines, and starvation.

School gardens can achieve many things (see School gardens: Food for 21st Century Learning). But their most important role right now is teaching children how to grow food for themselves and their communities. Many teachers are too busy to spend the time it takes to research the science and sociology of climate change. But we can and must start learning, right alongside our students, if necessary—and outside the curriculum box, if necessary—how to feed ourselves and our families, locally and without the use of fossil fuels. As teachers, let’s champion a garden in every schoolyard. Julie Johnston is the resource teacher for Pender Island School’s Spring Leaves Family Learning Program, with whom she developed a school garden. Julie is currently a member of the Committee for Action for Social Justice, Environmental Justice Action Group, and is also a sustainability education consultant with GreenHeart Education (www.greenhearted. org), where she can be contacted. Resources DARA Climate Vulnerability Monitor: daraint.org/climate-vulnerability-monitor/ climate-vulnerability-monitor-2012/ Permaculture: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Permaculture Climate Change Emergency Medical Response: www.climate-changeemergency-medical-response.org

BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014


School gardens: Food for 21st Century Learning by Shelley Serebrin and Julie D. Johnston

more than ever, due to environmental “ Now necessity, curriculum and schooling need to be re-framed and re-oriented toward earth-centred practice and thought that will ultimately help address changes to the planet while also helping humanity learn to understand and honour the environment.

–Veronica Gaylie, Ph.D., in Roots and Research in Urban School Gardens (2011) What writer, teacher, and researcher Veronica Gaylie realizes is that the planetary emergency brought about through climate change is shifting what a 21st century education must focus on. Indeed, global climate change has become the greatest challenge ever to face our species. What can we do as educators to make a difference? Gaylie and many others propose that school gardens “represent a move forward in pedagogy as learning is linked to basic human interaction with the earth at the level where the earth is experienced, sensed, and shared” (Gaylie, 2011). The teaching and learning seen in school gardens addresses “the crisis in how we think” that helped to create environmental damage. We have only to recall some of the latest deadly weather events to see what is likely to become more common in the near future: Hurricane Sandy in New York, flooding at the Bow and Elbow rivers in Calgary, and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Climate variability also means a threat to our ability to grow food, which has a dramatic impact on our food security (disastrous crop losses occurred in Russia in 2010 and in the United States in 2012). This means that for the sake of our children’s safety and security, it is essential that we educate them in the basic skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed to preserve, conserve, and protect clean/healthy water resources, build healthy soils, grow food that is adaptable to a variable climate, generate renewable energy, and reduce our ecological footprint so as to live within the carrying capacity of one Earth— that is, to live sustainably within the carrying capacity of the natural world. (Though this does not mean psychologically burdening young children with facts and concepts they are not old enough to do something about. “No environmental tragedies before fourth grade” is how David Sobel puts it.)

BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014

For some time, we (Shelley and Julie) had been discussing how we could engage elementary-aged students to purposefully think about the Earth, foster ecological stewardship and, at the same time, organize the learning around food, organic gardens, and/or sustainable farming. We know that kids love food, so using food as an organizing principle would not only be a motivator but it would connect the students directly with the rest of nature. We then merged the idea of students growing food in school/community gardens with the process of place-based education so that we had the beginnings of a fully integrated curriculum. After trying this out in partnership with Nanoose Edibles, an organic farm on Vancouver Island, a pilot project emerged in the form of a week-long summer day camp at a newly developed school garden at Pender Island School (serving both elementary and secondary students). Each day the students encountered a different theme that connected them with nature and food growing: Monday—The sun’s energy/Earth as the “Goldilocks planet”/Photosynthesis Tuesday—Soil science/Composting and zero waste Wednesday—Water sustains life/Growing our food Thursday—Seeds/Pollination Friday—Harvest feast/Giving thanks Each day’s theme integrated several disciplines: • language arts (story telling, writing in journals during magic spot time in the garden, sharing experiences and reflecting on what we knew and what we had learned) • science (observation and sensory skills, specific science concepts) • art (songs, drama, drawing/painting) • mathematics (counting, measurement, graphing) • physical education (digging, planting, team games, photosynthesis dodgeball and relay—with some hiking and swimming included) • social studies (field trips to island farms and community gardens, systems thinking and critical thinking skills, e.g., Why live in a sustainable manner? How can we recognize sustainable living in our community? How can we contribute to the development of a sustainable community?) • life skills (food handling and preparation,

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composting, seed saving, 5Rs—rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle). Although the pilot project was one week in length, many of the themes and learning outcomes could be expanded to give rise to a much deeper and more meaningful learning experience over the fall and spring school terms. The winter term may include many relevant components of an environmental learning curriculum based on gardening, through the planting of crops that will overwinter, developing a greenhouse garden, or studying how to put the garden to bed for the season and plan for next spring’s garden. You can easily find curriculum maps by grade or by subject area to support this learning at www.bced.gov. bc.ca/environment_ed/ele_maps.pdf. Another resource that will help you align gardening with learning outcomes, specifically for K–7, is at lifecyclesproject. ca/resources/index.php#manuals (download “Patterns Through the Seasons” and begin at page 5). Research shows that if we use the natural environment as an integrating context in our students’ educational experience, they will benefit in a number of ways. Through direct experience in the design, creation, care, and use of, naturalized school grounds—including gardens—students have demonstrated improved academic performance (Lieberman and Hoody, 1998). Pedagogy that connects our students to the rest of nature using place-based education allows students to understand that they are “grounded or rooted within the world,” and not spectators standing outside looking in (Sobel, 2005). This may be one of the reasons students develop a willingness and capacity to do good work on behalf of the human and non-human communities for which they see themselves as a part. It is easy to get involved in school gardening and place-based learning. Connect with the Environmental Educators’ Provincial Specialist Association (EEPSA), and your social justice contact teacher at your school or the social justice committee chair in your district. Ask your PD chair or school committee for help in bringing knowledgeable professionals in for a workshop. Take some time to view the environmental justice pages at the BCTF’s social justice website for PD opportunities that you can take advantage of.

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Find out which teachers in your district have strong garden programs or if there is a professional learning group focused on place-based curriculum and ask them for advice and where to obtain funding for a school garden project. Partner with local community members, master gardeners, or food share organizations that have a love for gardening and would be happy to work with you and your students. Visit GreenHeart Education’s school gardening website. It is a great help if you can persuade your administrators of the benefits of a placebased school garden curriculum for the students and, of course, for their future. Refer them to Delta School District, which has committed to a garden in every schoolyard by June 2014. Imagine a school/community garden at every school in BC or, better yet, throughout Canada. This potentially could bring about one of the greatest paradigm shifts we have seen in education. For the sake of our students, we can all be doing something about the climate change crisis. We can start now with the first step— inviting our students to the land. Shelley Serebrin completed her MA in Environmental Education and Communications at Royal Roads University in 2009. She has been integrating environmental education in curriculum for more than a decade. She has over 20 years of teaching experience in Ontario, Mexico, Australia, and Costa Rica, and is presently teaching in School District 68 on Vancouver Island. She welcomes anyone who would like to discuss and promote school gardens and integrated environmental education in the curriculum to contact her (sserebrin@sd68.bc.ca). Resources Gaylie, V. (2011). Roots and Research in Urban School Gardens. New York: Peter Lang. Lieberman, Gerald A., and Linda L. Hoody. (1998). Closing the Achievement Gap: Using the Environment as an Integrating Context for Learning. San Diego, CA: State Environment and Education Roundtable. Mini-farms sprouting across Delta School District: www.vancouversun.com/life/Mini +farms+sprouting+across+Delta+school+d istrict/9332469/story.html Sobel, D. (2005). Place-Based Education: Connecting Classrooms and Communities. Great Barrington, MA: Orion Society. Sobel, D. (1995). Beyond Ecophobia: Reclaiming the Heart in Nature Education arts.envirolink.org/arts_and_education/ DavidSobel1.html The Value of School Gardens: www. greenhearted.org/school-gardens.html

BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014


The Great Bear Rainforest and students of the West Kootenays by Shannon Lanaway, Committee for Action on Social Justice, Environmental Justice Action Group

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tudents throughout SD 8 (Kootenay Lake) have had the timely opportunity to learn about the invaluable biodiversity that exists in the Great Bear Rainforest with the help of a BCTF social justice grant. A class set of 30 books of The Salmon Bears: Giants of the Great Bear Rainforest, The Sea Wolves: Living Wild in the Great Bear Rainforest, both by Ian McAllister and Nicholas Read, as well as Following the Last Wild Wolves also by Ian McAllister, were purchased along with One Coast, One Chance, a collection of documentary films of the Great Bear Rainforest including Tipping Barrels, Spoil, Oil in Eden, and Cetaceans of the Great Bear. Because of the remote location of the Great Bear Rainforest, many people do not realize it is every bit as rich and wondrous as Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and Brazil’s Amazon rainforest basin. The Great Bear Rainforest forms one of the last great wilderness areas on the coast of British Columbia and is home to 230 species of birds and 68 mammals, not to mention dozens of reptiles and amphibians and hundreds

of insects. Trophy hunting, diminishing salmon stocks, habitat loss, and oil spills threaten these magnificent animals. Many different First Nations communities are found throughout the northern Great Bear Rainforest. Each continues to live in the same traditional territories that have supported their cultures for over 10,000 years. They include the Nuxalk, Gitga’at, Kitasoo/Xaixais, Heiltsuk, Wuikinuxv, Haisla, Tlingit, and Metlakatla. Through the dedicated work of conservationists and local indigenous populations, the natural value of the Great Bear Rainforest is growing. As more people learn about this area they have come to care about all the varied and special animals living there; becoming active agents of change in their preservation. This was the intention Shannon Lanaway had when she applied for the social justice grant in Nelson, BC. By encouraging students to become curious and learn about the rich and biodiverse remote ecosystems in the Great Bear Rainforest, the hope was that a sense of ownership in the future protection of the life that exists in this part of the world would develop in the youth of the West Kootenays. There is a growing sense of urgency among environmentalist educators in BC that public school students are provided with

BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014

knowledge of local plant species, animal species, habitats, and of the increasingly threatened species and areas throughout the province. Promoting the use of McAllister and Read’s books in public school is not only timely, but is facilitated through exceptional curriculum teaching guides and inspiring examples of nature photography. How can the youth of today and tomorrow be expected to play an active role in the preservation of the natural world around them if they have little awareness, connection, or understanding of its body, mind, and heart value? Students in the Kootenays have been extremely creative and articulate in demonstrating what they have learned working with these resources. Grade 4 and 5 students from South Nelson Elementary School took the time during a social studies class to submit an article to their local newspaper sharing essential information pertaining to Grizzly, Black, and Spirit Bears. The following are examples of their research:

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The sounds bears make depend on their moods. When a cub is nursing they produce a continuous motor-like purr almost like a cat. Mother bears often, “speak” to their cubs in a series of grunts, though what each of these grunts means is a secret kept by bears. Bears also blow air and clack their teeth when they are afraid. Bear cubs will scream almost like a human when they’re in distress. –Tiger Art 11–12 students from Mount Sentinel Secondary School expressed their political environmental views through the use of graphite, charcoal, pencil crayon, felt pens, acrylic, and water colour paint. To the right is an example of one of those artists’ commentary. Many thanks to the following teachers: Joanne Dunne, Shannon Murphy, and Doug VanSickle, as well as those

teachers in the future who are willing to implement new current environmental resources into their regular curriculum. With such flexibility and enthusiastic students, teachers and parents continue to be inspired and engaged within the current public education system, regardless of the devastating impact of the provincial government’s treatment of education in this province. The BCTF will provide up to $2,000 matching the local on a 4:1 ratio (i.e., $500 local=$2,000 BCTF, $250 local=$1,000 BCTF). The maximum for any BCTF social justice grant is $2,000. Local social justice grants are meant to provide seed money for activities or projects that will bring about systemic change for social justice within a local or sublocal. The grants are intended for activities/projects with a local/ sublocal scope, or which involve multiple schools and have an ongoing impact beyond an individual classroom or school. Submission deadline for a BCTF social justice grant is April 15, 2014. bctf.ca/uploadedFiles/Public/ AboutUs/ServicesHandbook/ LocalSocialJusticeGrants.pdf

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Gregory Maki/iStock/Thinkstock

It is illegal to hunt a Spirit Bear, but it is not illegal to hunt a Black Bear. Most Black Bears carry the same recessive gene that turns a Black Bear white. A hunter can kill a Spirit Bear’s parent. –Ravi

As a student of rural B.C. I am very distressed about the destruction of animal habitat, coastal marine life, and First Nations’ land and water. I made the traditional mandala to show how important it is to protect the earth. The outside ring depicts our societies addiction to oil. If the pipeline is approved what we have to lose. –Zoe Kim


Book review: The Economics of Happiness: Building Genuine Wealth by Mark Anielski by Betty Gilgoff, Peace and Global Education PSA

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ry this first: Jot down on a napkin or whatever is handy a dozen things you consider most important or precious for a good life.

marekuliasz/iStock/Thinkstock

Now imagine a world where the things that we value are measured and strived for in terms of success. A society where your list of what matters gets factored into our society’s measure of progress and growth, a part of the gross domestic product (GDP), if you will. If having time to read or be with your children or friends matters to you, shouldn’t you be getting more of that as our communities become more prosperous, our society more developed? So again, imagine a world where our well-being and happiness is what we work toward as a community, and what drives our economy and our government policies. In his book The Economics of Happiness: Building Genuine Wealth, Mark Anielski claims that within our lifetime such a world is within our reach. He carefully walks through how it can work, why it hasn’t yet, a historical perspective as to what put us off track, and then provides a number of examples of small businesses and communities that are already growing a real economy of happiness based on his concept of “genuine wealth.” What is needed, he believes, is the adoption of a system for measuring and promoting genuine wealth, a system of real economics that BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014

is concerned with real issues, those that matter to individuals. His ideas for transformation involve ways to reign in our monetary system by giving control over money creation and debt back to the government and community, as we explore the question of the relationship between our economic wealth and our ability to live as we would like. “[G]enerating more economic output and consuming more stuff does not necessarily generate what society wants and needs” (Location 893, Kindle Edition). His argument is well researched, well articulated, believable, and uplifting. Anielski is well suited for laying out a plan for building genuine wealth as he comes from a diverse background that includes economics, forestry, accounting, and religious studies. He has three university degrees and years of experience as a professional economist, including a position as a senior government economic policy analyst at Alberta Environment. He is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Alberta School of Business where he teaches a course in Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Entrepreneurship. He is a founding faculty member of the Bainbridge Graduate Institute in Washington, which was the first MBA program in the US dedicated to sustainable business practices and ethics. As President and CEO of Anielski Management Inc. he consults around the globe with companies, corporations, communities, and policy-makers who are looking for new ways to promote sustainability and generate well-being. Anielski explains clearly in his book, partially through providing some historical insights into the “mystery” of economics, money, trade, and power, how currently financial capital is all that gets counted in our standard measure of progress, the “holy” GDP. But the GDP is a poor measure. Using the words of one of his students he explains the problem: ...everything that costs a buck gets added to the gross domestic product, but nothing is ever subtracted. How clever—I wish I could do that with my checkbook. Chemotherapy for Aunt Ellie from all those Marlboros? Ka-ching! Toxic waste clean-up? Ka-ching! Clear-cutting old growth forests? Ka-ching! Everything adds to the 25


a cancer cell than the self-renewing life cycle of an ancient forest” (Location 174). How much longer can our world sustain never-ending growth? As a society we are starting to demand that economists and policymakers begin to ask different and “right” questions. By ignoring genuine wealth, a concept that encompasses financial capital along with built capital (that which we make), natural capital, social capital, and human capital as equally important components of the measure, economists are missing out on what is really valued. In this way we have allowed ourselves to become slaves to money instead of having money be only what it was ever intended to be, a token of exchange. Measures of genuine wealth consider both positive and negative factors from all five kinds of capital: natural, social, human, built, and financial. In fact: The concept of genuine wealth is something so basic that we knew what it was as children. It was about having time with the people we love, petting a puppy, eating fresh peas out of the garden, having time to pursue our passions. Now too many of us have to schedule our time three weeks out with our Palm Pilots to jam a get-together with friends into our busy schedule (Location 1330).

GDP even though most people would consider the above examples negatives for society. It’s as if you were doing your finances with only the addition key on the calculator functioning—nothing ever gets subtracted (Location 1326).

Anielski’s concept of genuine wealth considers the conditions of well-being that are true to our core values of life (Location 436). In fact he takes this further in that wealthy communities are those that “work in a spirit of collective and shared responsibility or stewardship to ensure that the various conditions of well-being that add to quality of life are flourishing, vibrant, life-giving, and sustainable for current and future generations” (Location 438). He adds to this that it means supporting all members of the community.

Currently financial capital drives too much of what is valued as important. Making money has become all that matters, often despite the consequences; despite the fact that natural resources are being depleted (natural capital) or that communities or individuals are being harmed (social and human capital). The real meaning of the value of wealth has been lost. In our current systems of measuring, using GDP, the negative impacts have no way to figure into calculations, particularly when projects and bottom-line reports are over the short-term. But times are changing; communities, individuals, and even businesses are demanding more. With climate change so clearly on our doorstep and a growing understanding of the need for sustainability, more of us are wondering “why free-market, capitalist economics look more like

Unlike so much of what I have read in my own search for how to make a difference, Anielski’s book is practical and optimistic. Anielski doesn’t offer a magical solution. Nor does he suggest that we have to storm government or corporate offices or come together and agree on a plan for change. Instead he documents many of the small ways that change is already starting to happen, much like the growth of the organic food industry that is finally taking hold. He holds up champions to the cause, organizations such as VanCity, Interface, Upstream21, BALLE, and Bainbridge Graduate Institute, to name a few, not touting any of them as perfect solutions but simply as small groups that are well on their way to changing the way business is being conducted. Each of these small, usually local, initiatives demonstrates how businesses can function and even

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BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014


excel in a sustainable manner that adds value or real wealth to the community by having business policies and plans that are not solely defined by maximizing shareholder value.

References Mark Anielski. The Economics of Happiness: Building Genuine Wealth. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 2007. Kindle file.

©Fuse/Thinkstock

Businesses, he believes, have both an opportunity and a responsibility to add value to the community, to contribute to the well-being of the communities that support them. Likewise, citizens ideally have a right and a responsibility to demand that and be involved. “What if a citizen panel could regularly scrutinize corporate charters to assess whether these enterprises were contributing to improved well-being conditions in their community” (Location 1959)? Similarly with money, for reducing it to the local level and eliminating interest and/or usury, Anielski provides examples of alternatives for pooling resources and exchanging goods in ways that make sense to the people and add to the wellbeing of the community. Banks like JAK Members’ Bank in Sweden or Shorebank in Ilawako, Washington, provide examples. In Indonesia, a time currency, narayan banjar, is yet another example. Narayan banjar is used in exchange for time given to community projects organized through a banjar operating at the local level. Banjars are run democratically with locally elected representatives involved in monthly meetings to plan projects. For Anielski, couching his ideas in real working projects gives credit to his theory and demonstrates how policies grounded in the concept of genuine wealth not only make sense but add true wealth that contributes to the well-being of citizens and helps to create flourishing communities.

This book has taken me by surprise. I cracked it open expecting a quick read, something that given the title, The Economics of Happiness, might be a tad flakey or easy to dismiss. Happiness and economics just seemed too incongruent for a serious read. However I had agreed to read the book to write this review and so approached the task earnestly, jotting my notes with no idea at the start of where it would end. To my delight and dismay I found that the book took an inordinate amount of time because the content was rich, informative, and thoughtful. I found myself wanting to soak up everything and really understand. As Anielski worked through history and economics his writing made me curious, and so I took myself on tangential expeditions over and over again. Similarly, as the text moved on to examples of sustainable businesses, I wanted more, this time because I wanted to sit with the idea of people, businesses, and communities that care. Reading The Economics of Happiness: Building Genuine Wealth has given me pause to consider how I bank, how I invest, how I choose to live, and how I’ll alter where I put my energy. It was gratifying to read. If reading this review doesn’t make you at least a little curious about your own relationship to money, wealth, and well-being then it is only because I haven’t done justice to Anielski’s thesis. I would encourage you to read the book for yourself.

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Fundraising in schools

In our school, children were asked to ask their friends, family, and neighbours to buy entertainment books so that we could buy computers for our school. At our school we had graphs in our display case showing how many cookie and pie orders each class had bought. For some children, these incentives and competition may be perceived as fun; however, this is not the case for children who are from low-income families as they are not able to participate.

Vancouver Elementary School Teachers’ Association motion Motion That VESTA recommend that the VSB develop clear guidelines to ensure that children are not competing with each other in fundraising activities nor are they encouraged to participate in fundraisers in order to win prizes and receive special recognition.

How would we as teachers feel if we were constantly being asked to raise money for the schools we work at as well as for various outside charities? How would we feel if we were asked to compete with each other in fundraisers and only a few of us would receive a prize or special recognition for all the money we raised? For some of us who aren’t struggling financially we may not be bothered by all this fundraising, but for those of us who are already finding it hard to make ends meet, fundraising, especially when it’s competitive and involves prizes, may be a burden.

Support statement Based on suggestions that our antipoverty committee received during a community dialogue with low income parents with school-age children, as well as feedback from a number of teachers concerned about the pressures involved with fundraising, we have come up with this recommendation to go to the VSB. Our committee believes that if we are asking students to be fundraisers, we would like there to be guidelines around how they are asked to take on this role.

What this motion is seeking is to have some clear guidelines in place around how fundraising in schools is conducted so that it is done in such a way that respects the integrity of our students and their families.

When members of our committee engaged in a community dialogue with parents on low income, many of them said that they feel embarrassment and shame when they can’t afford to participate in fundraising efforts and other school activities that cost money. The parents questioned and were concerned about the amount of fundraising going on in schools. They said that they want to be able to contribute to the school community and events that teach their children about social responsibility but they questioned the need for contributions to so often take the form of giving financially. Our committee believes it is inappropriate to ask children to compete with each other and use incentives when it involves children raising money.

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A Social Justice Lens

In many schools fundraising often involves competition between classes to raise the most money for various causes whether the fundraisers are school based or for outside charities. There are often incentives such as prizes or pizza lunches used to encourage children to raise money. In one East-side school, children are being asked to purchase school t-shirts for either $20 or $40, then on school spirit days those classes with the most number of students wearing their shirts receive points.

Above is Vancouver Elementary School Teachers’ Association’s motion that was passed to address the inequities around fundraising occurring in schools. Using the Social Justice Lens that is on the following page to help in decision-making that occurs at Parent Advisory Councils and staff meetings will help you decide which projects should be carried out or not. By using the lens you will see which initiatives are inclusive of all the students in your school, and that will create a just and better world for everyone.

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ic

A Teaching Resource Guide For more information about the Social Justice program at the BCTF, go to www.bctf.ca/SocialJustice.aspx

Here is a link to the Social Justice Lens booklet that will give you more information on how to use the lens. bctf.ca/ uploadedFiles/Public/SocialJustice/Publications/SJLens.pdf The BC Poverty Reduction Coalition has a lesson plan on “Justice Not Charity” at the link below. Go to “Teacher Resources” at the bottom of the page. bcpovertyreduction. ca/take-action-2/school-resources/ Antipoverty resources can be found at bctf.ca/SocialJustice. aspx?id=21358&libID=21348.

BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014


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BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014


COMMITTEE FO R

E (CASJ) TIC US

N ON SOCI TIO AL C A J

2013–14 Committee for Action on Social Justice (CASJ) • advises the BCTF on social justice issues • reviews and promotes social justice workshops • liaises with community groups and NGOs • develops policy on emerging issues • reviews and develops materials for classroom teachers • develops and supports networks of social justice contacts in the following action group areas: Antiracism, Antipoverty, Status of Women, LGBTQ, Peace and Global Education, Environmental Justice • co-ordinates the work of the six action groups

Antiracism Action Group

LGBTQ Action Group

Nassim Elbardouh Daniel Shiu Amar Sull Natalie Wai

David Butler Vanessa Liston Lizzy Midyette Joe Winkler

Workshops Bafa Bafa/Rafa Rafa Socializing justice: Taking action against racism Responding to racism through art and ally-building

Workshops • Breaking the silence: Understanding and acting on LGBTQ issues in schools • From silence to action: How to be an ally on LGBTQ issues.

Status of Women Action Group

Antipoverty Action Group

Carol Arnold Corie McRae Kristin Quigley Viji Shanmugha Workshops • Assertive communication skills • Thirsty for change: The global water crisis • Resisting normalized sexual violence against youth.

Peace and Global Education Action Group Dan Hula Shannon Rerie Deidre Torrence Karen Whyte Workshops • Bringing global education into the classroom • Creating cultures of peace • Strategies for discussing controversial issues.

Environmental Justice Action Group

Robert Genaille Annie Ohana Debbie Sabourin Sue Spalding Workshops • Poverty as a classroom issue • Teachers can make a difference for children living in poverty.

Julie Johnston Jennifer Jury Shannon Lanaway Richard Pesik Workshops Linking thinking: Integrating environmental education into all classrooms.

Important SJ dates to celebrate March 08 April 09 May June 08

International Women’s Day International Day of Pink Asian Heritage Month Canadian Rivers Day

Please note: The BCTF is not responsible for the content or links found on any external website. Opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the author.

BC Teachers’ Federation 100–550 West 6th Avenue Vancouver, BC V5Z 4P2

Editor: Susan Ruzic Copy editing: Kathleen Smith, Vanessa Terrell, Sarah Young Design: Jennifer Sowerby

BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Winter/Spring 2014

This newsletter is available on-line at bctf.ca/SocialJustice.aspx?id=6352 Winter/Spring 2014, PSI14-0010

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VIOLENCE

What would a world without violence look like? We want to hear from YOU!—Share your vision All media forms accepted (e.g., written, film, etc.). Submissions should be sent with the subject line “World without violence” to sruzic@bctf.ca. The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2014. Winning entries will be posted online, and featured in the BCTF Social Justice Newsmagazine.


Social Justice Newsletter, March 2014  

Newsletter of the BCTF Committee for Action on Social Justice March 2014

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