Celebrating Diversity and Respect Throughout the District

February 26, 2021

Bright coloured rainbows were sprinkled throughout the Langley School District this week. Students, staff, and the community celebrated Diversity and Respect Week.

The annual initiative was established by the Board of Education in 2017 as a means “to coincide with Pink Shirt Day in February to promote awareness, acceptance, Reconciliation, and inclusion for all members of the school community.”

During this week, schools across the District recognized and celebrated diversity through lessons, activities, and virtual events that serve to promote empathy, understanding, and the importance of inclusion. Our Board and District is committed to helping our schools foster an inclusive and nurturing culture.

Throughout the week, some of our administrators and staff wore colourful masks as a way to show members of our diverse learners, LGBTQ+, Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour, and everyone in our community that they belong.

On Wednesday, the Board of Education announced it reached its fundraising goal to support a rainbow crosswalk linking the school board office to the Langley RCMP detachment. More than $12,000 for the project has been raised thanks to the help from community partners, organizations, businesses, and individuals. The rainbow crosswalk is a symbol of diversity and inclusion.

On this same day, schools took part in Pink Shirt Day activities to show support in taking a stand against bullying.

This week was all about sharing and celebrating stories.

The Alice Brown Elementary community went a step further in engaging families in the learning. The school hosted a Teams live event as an opportunity to share stories from families and to honour their heritage, culture, and identity.

At the start of the video, Alice Brown Elementary Principal Michael Carlyle set the tone by saying, “It’s important that we respect everyone, and celebrate the differences among our community, and the diversity of our community. The most important thing to celebrate is love.”

Alice Brown Elementary Teacher Marie Trip helped facilitate content for the video by getting her students and their families to send in recordings answering the question “What is diversity?”

She found the exercise to be rich and meaningful for her students and herself.

“I think teaching about diversity is a fundamental part of my job as an educator, and the purpose behind all my diversity lessons is to not just point out difference, but to teach love and acceptance of difference. This, to me, is the way to heal some of the wounds of the past and to make a brighter future for all,” explained Trip.

With February being Black History Month, many classes also took the time to learn and celebrate the achievements and contribution of Black Canadians in creative ways.

Please enjoy this slideshow and join us in celebrating Diversity and Respect Week.