On behalf of the 45,000
members of the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation, I want to express deepest
condolences to all those who are grieving the loss of friends, family, and
loved ones in the crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 in Tehran.
Teachers take seriously our
responsibility to educate our students about news and current affairs, so this
tragedy will be the topic of classroom discussions for many days and weeks to
come. We as teachers go beyond the academic realm and help deal with the social
and psychological impacts that this terrible event is having, and will continue
to have, upon our students.
Some of us have children and
youth in our classes who are directly related to victims, or who knew them as
part of the close-knit Iranian-Canadian community here in BC. We’ll be taking
special care to watch over them and listen to them with open hearts.
It’s a sad fact that in times
of conflict and uncertainty, immigrants and people of colour often face
increased racism, Islamophobia, and marginalization. Being aware of that, BC
teachers are firmly committed to standing up against the trend towards
intolerance and exclusion.
We are prepared to actively
support students and families who may be feeling more vulnerable and less safe
at this terrible time. We believe that all children have the right to learn in
safe schools that are at the heart of welcoming communities. We stand in
solidarity with you now and into the future.