Bianca Beauchemin 0

Teaching Tolerance

15 people have signed this petition. Add your name now!
Bianca Beauchemin 0 Comments
15 people have signed. Add your voice!
Maxine K. signed just now
Adam B. signed just now

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom established “equal treatment before and under the law, and equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination” for all Canadian citizens. Despite our constitutional efforts, sexism, racism and homophobia are systemic inequalities, among many others, still plaguing the Canadian public today. Violence against women, spousal abuse, sexual assault, the cradle to prison pipeline, racial profiling, hate speech and bullying are issues permeating our newspapers daily. The education system is a means of socializing children within the standard norms that have been constructed within the society as a whole. Children will continue to behave within the parameters of those constructed social norms, unless they are exposed to critical understandings of gender, race, class, ability and sexuality. We believe if children do not succumb to patriarchal/colonial modes of thinking and are thought tolerance and empathy instead, positive change can be achieved. We therefore request the Ontario Ministry of Education to implement a gender/equity/diversity studies curriculum as early as elementary school, a program entitled, Teaching Tolerance. We believe this will promote positive attitudes in children, ending a vicious cycle of oppression and thus shaping our future where equality really is at the root of all policies. We are advocating for a reform in the education system, not just a once a year drop-in class aimed to “teach” children about inequalities. There is no staying power with those types of educational platforms, the information is not learned or embodied and it does not bring about real change. We want these tolerance practices integrated into the curriculum, starting with sensitivity training for teachers. For the younger elementary school children (grade 1 to 3), the educators would teach through games and interactions the value of respect, tolerance and an understanding of differences. Once they get a little older, we would introduce some more theory-based understanding of equity and give them the skills to live harmoniously in our multicultural society, thus halting the reproduction of past patriarchal, racist, homophobic ideologies. Upon putting this curriculum together, we urge the Ontario Ministry of Education to work with us and alongside feminist scholars and others dedicated to dismantling oppressive structures of power. We understand that the Ontario School Boards have their hands full with various policies, but we urge them to consider our plea. As a democracy, we have a responsibility to create common values that include everyone and by creating a more tolerant and empathic generation, we will perhaps be able to abide by the principles set out in our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom. This petition will be mailed (snail mail and email) to the Ontario Ministry of Education by summer 2013. If you support our efforts in Teaching Tolerance to our youth, please add your signature below.

Share for Success