Yesterday, students walked out to protest a number of concerns they had, mainly revolving around gender equity and the treatment of female students. I want those students to know that we have listened to them and we are taking action to address their concerns.
Over the last couple of days, we have sent additional staff to Charlottetown Rural High School to provide support. Student Services is setting up a support centre at the school for at least the next couple of weeks to provide a safe place for students to discuss their concerns. The centre will offer both educational and counselling support. With a view to long-term substantive change, we are working with the school administration and students to create a working committee that will address the concerns raised by students and school culture.
We know that these issues are not new, nor unique to one school or even our system. These are broad societal challenges that we experience in our schools, however, we are committed to making our schools safe and caring spaces where all of our students are able to thrive. We will be developing a broader plan to address these concerns across our system.
Our school staff care deeply about our students, their educational success and their overall wellbeing. We will work with them to provide professional development opportunities that provide greater insight into issues around gender equity and to better equip them for dealing with associated situations. As the leadership of the PSB, we are also committed to our own professional development on these topics.
Director of the Public Schools Branch