August 31, 2021

Consultants Recommend Ombuds for School District 57

A Special Advisors Report for the public school district in central British Columbia, including urban Prince George, recommends creating an Ombuds program. The review was commissioned by BC’s Minister of Education, Jennifer Whiteside, in response to concerns about funding and graduation rates for Indigenous students in the district. The report found a wide range of concerns, including "No real mechanism for resolving disputes or addressing discrimination and systemic racism" and "a need to ensure that all District employees work in an open and free manner without fear of retribution." 

The report urged an Ombuds as a remedial response to improve district leadership and culture ("That an ombudsperson be hired to receive confidential reports from members of the educational community or staff who have concerns they wish to report.") and a culture of fear ("An ombudsperson must be hired to ensure people can share their experiences without fear of retribution to make systemic change.") The district has not yet announced plans to implement the Ombuds proposal. (Special Advisors Report; My PG Now.)

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