Workshops for Educators and Parents
"Parents for Diversity is a lifeline to families and a support tool for educators" - Parent
Parents for Diversity develops workshops and resources for parents and guardians, educators and school boards to promote diversity and inclusion and to address discrimination and bias in our schools. Our workshops explore the actors involved in our children's education, from the provincial government to parents and guardians, and students. We also examine laws, such as human rights legislation and the common law standard of care that applies to our schools. We provide tools and resources for families and educators to address discrimination and bias and to promote diversity and inclusion for all children.
Our workshops are unique because they are based on our experiences as parents with school age children who have faced adversity, including racism and discrimination. We have had to advocate for our children and for others, and learned techniques to work with schools to address these problems.
There are many actors involved in our children’s education. It is important that we are aware of their roles and responsibilities towards our children; and that maintaining positive relationships with these actors can allow our children to thrive in their learning environments. These actors include the provincial government, school boards, schools, teachers, parents and guardians, as well as students themselves. Our workshops explore in more detail the roles and responsibilities of each actor. For instance, we examine the responsibility of school boards to implement the various policies and procedures on discipline, such as a policy on progressive discipline. We also provide tools and resources for parents and guardians to engage with their child’s educators to become more active participants in their child’s education.
Laws and Policies
As public institutions, schools have a legal duty to provide students with a learning environment that is free from harassment and discrimination. Our workshops provide a general overview of human rights legislation in Ontario, in particular the Human Rights Code, which prohibits actions that discriminate against people based on a protected ground in a protected social area. We also review relevant cases that have imposed a standard of care on schools which is to act as "a careful or prudent parent." Please note that Parents for Diversity does not offer legal advice and that the information we provide should not, in any way, be interpreted or treated as legal advice.
Approaches to Promoting Diversity and Combating Discrimination
We are often approached by parents and educators because they do not know how to address issues of discrimination when they arise. As founding parents of Parents for Diversity, we have first-hand experience of discrimination and racism in the school system and we have developed ways in which to engage productively with teachers and boards to promote a more diverse and inclusive learning environment for all children. We offer a range of workshops that explore, more generally, how schools can become more responsive to the diverse needs of their students. For instance, what does it mean to provide an inclusive learning environment for a transgender student? How can we deal with negative perceptions about a child with learning disabilities and allow them to thrive and succeed in the classroom? How can teachers become aware of implicit bias and take meaningful steps to overcome these perceptions? Our workshops provide tools and resources to address various forms of discrimination and bias, and to identify meaningful ways to promote diversity and inclusion.
For more information on our workshops or if you are interested in Parents for Diversity delivering a workshop to your school or board, please do not hesitate to contact us.