By Elisabeth Braul
One of the books I ordered after George Floyd was killed is called ‘Anti-Racist Baby’, by Ibram X. Kendi. It is a list of actions parents can take to teach their kids to be anti-racist. The third point in the book is ‘Point at policies as the problem, not people’. So, here we go. Let’s point at a proposed policy. It’s easy to get lost in all the problematic aspects of Bill 64, especially as a teacher. It becomes a ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’ situation. We need to step back and look at the forest. I’m very concerned about the Provincial Advisory Council on Education (PACE), and I’m going to tell you why you should be, too. This is the body the Province is proposing that will represent the interests of the public (specifically parents) regarding Education. The Province of Manitoba Better Education Starts Today information states repeatedly that ‘Parents have oversight of the (Education) system’, and PACE is how they aim to embody that.
PACE is made up of volunteer parents. Each new education district in Manitoba gets to elect one parent to this board. The province’s proposal and assurance in their literature is that PACE will report directly to the Minister of Education and the Provincial Education Authority (body appointed by the government). PACE will oversee curriculum development, what is taught and not taught, and what is considered ‘sensitive content’ and how that should be taught or not taught…
Download Elisabeth Braul’s full submission here.
Elisabeth Braul has taught at various Winnipeg inner-city schools over her 12 year career and is learning how to be anti-racist.