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The British Columbia Teachers’ Federation denounces the violence we have all witnessed against Black community members. 

The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in broad daylight is the most recent manifestation of police brutality against African Americans. This latest murder has added to a long list of murders and violence toward Black community members at the hands of law enforcement, that has now reached a tipping point. Untold numbers of people are now taking to the streets in the USA and Canada to protest the ongoing violence against Black lives. We stand in solidarity with all those demanding an end to these egregious human rights violations and the white supremacy they reflect in both our countries.

These are the most recent manifestations of centuries old bigotry that continues to be systemically interwoven into the fabric of our society, threatening the values we claim to hold true—democracy, equity, liberty, peace. Many demonstrators in recent days have carried placards saying: “No justice, no peace!” They serve as important reminders that true peace is not merely the absence of war, but the presence of justice.

As a strong social justice union, the BCTF stands for public education as a way to make the world better and values the role of teachers as change makers. 

As teachers, we witness the devastating impacts of racism in the injustices borne by our students of colour and their families: vastly disproportionate levels of poverty, illness, violence, incarceration, and death compared to white students and their families.

That’s why we believe strongly that it is our moral duty to speak out against racism, to take action against racism, and to inspire our students and communities to join in the struggle. 

The BCTF has policies and programs for antiracism education that have grown and evolved over the past four decades. Please visit our website to learn more about the BCTF’s resources against racism.

 

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For more information, contact Rich Overgaard, BCTF media relations officer, at rovergaard@bctf.ca.

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