Nanaimo school district working on safe schools strategy

NANAIMO – The Nanaimo school district is working towards a safe schools strategy.

The Nanaimo school district is working towards a safe schools strategy.

Bob Esliger, assistant superintendent of diversity and equity, said the district will be circulating an inclusion policy to schools and partner groups.

The aim is to have discussions to ensure that the policy reflects the diversity present in the district, said Esliger. There is other work being done as well, he said.

“Concurrently, we have two district committees that are at work and one of those … sexual orientation gender identity and on that committee, we are creating procedures for helping schools to address issues regarding student and staff sexual orientation gender identity diversity.

“So we are writing a procedural guide to help our district accommodate diversity in that respect,” Esliger.

Esliger said a multicultural and race relations committee is tasked with writing the procedural guide for the district to address the needs of cultural and race diversity.

The work of the two committees will be focused on safe, caring and inclusive practice and will also address bullying, harassment and intimidation, said Esliger.

“We have a three-pronged approach to deal with that and that is that our procedures for addressing issues must be educative, preventative and restorative,” he said.

Work from the two committees will go the learning services department and will make up the procedural guides for schools.

The school board will need to give approval for the inclusion policy, said Esliger.

The district said the board is expected to discuss the next steps for the strategy during 2016 budget discussions.

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