A group of student leaders from across School District No. 57 (SD57) are spending the year tackling racism across the district.
The District’s Student Advisory Council (DSAC) is currently producing an impactful and educational video that deals with racism in local and regional schools.
DSAC is a student body comprised of membership from each of SD57's secondary schools, five of which are in Prince George, and works to identify and bring to the attention of the Board of Education Trustees issues and concerns affecting the district’s student population.
This year, DSAC decided to focus on what they could do to combat racism in SD57.
“There’s things that come up – like racism came up – and now what they are doing is amazing and I think that is testimate to what they can do,” said Katie Marren, Vice-Principal at Prince George Secondary School and lead for DSAC, at last night’s (Feb. 23) board of education meeting.
“They are the fuel to why we do what we do and they are the engine. They have heart they have resiliency, they have gusto, they have energy.”
DSAC member Taryn Atkinson, joined the meeting to give an update on the students’ meetings and video project.
“Our main project this year is battling racism within our school district,” said Atkinson.
“We are going to make a video targeted at Grades Four to Eight students and it’s really going to be impactful, educational and really tackle the micro-aggressions, the stereotypes, the bystanders, the jokes – we just don’t want that in our school district anymore.”
She says the video will be 10 minutes long and will take place within both seconday and elementary school settings like playgrounds, libraries and classrooms, highlighting where racism occurs every day.
Atkinson says the video will also feature interviews with alumni, graduates who are current university students or who have been out of school for more than 20 years. It will also feature interviews with current students within the district.
“We just want them to tell their story and have it heard so that people realize, ‘Wow, that happened to someone. I need to stand up for someone if that is going to happen again.’,” says Atkinson.
She says DSAC is currently meeting every two weeks to work on the project and the next steps include filming and editing.
“As someone who has attended the meetings, the energy was amazing in that room and the discussions were honest and frank. Thank you for tackling that,” said SD57 Board of Education Chair Trent Derrick after the presentation.
“We really appreciate that you are willing to come together more often to meet the needs of the work you are doing.”
Trustee Tim Bennett also attended the DSAC meetings and praised the students for the work they are undertaking.
“It was really great to hear the work the students were coming up with in terms of storyboarding what this video was going to be and I don’t want to spoil too much but the storyboard itself sounds pretty fantastic. It’s something we are going to very proud to share far and wide."