Why is there DEHR?

Rationale: Why We Need a Local DEHR Committee, as outlined by the ATA:

Alberta’s rapidly changing demographics are creating an exciting cultural diversity that is reflected in the province’s classrooms, both urban and rural. The new landscape of the school provides one of the best contexts in which to teach young Canadians that strength lies in diversity. Cultural diversity in our society can be defined by ethnicity, language, race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, and other characteristics.  Diversity is not something to be managed; it is an asset that can help create an abundant and productive democracy.

 

ATA Policy [2003]

18.A.1 A primary role of public education in a democratic society is to foster the principles of equity, human rights, social responsibility, and justice.

18.A.2 The Alberta Teachers’ Association views diversity as an asset in school communities.

18.A.3 The Alberta Teachers’ Association is committed to the elimination of barriers to full participation in education and society while fostering understanding, empathy and compassion.

DEHR Goals and Objectives

Our aim is to help foster understanding, empathy and compassion for all individuals, thus creating safe and caring schools where everyone (staff, students, families, and other community members) feels welcome and safe.  We plan to do this by: 

      

       1.1 Fostering respect for diversity through:

  • Increasing awareness about what diversity is;

  • Adhering to beliefs and practices which demonstrate acceptance of everyone, regardless of race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical characteristics, disability, marital status, family status, age, ancestry, place of origin, place of residence, socioeconomic background, linguistic background, etc.;

  • Accepting and respecting differences as positive attributes upon which to develop educational experiences; and

  • Recognizing the complex and evolving nature of individual identities.

 

      1.2 Fostering respect for equity, which is understood to encompass:

  • Treating all people justly and fairly in light of any of their circumstances;

  • Ensuring that all individuals receive equitable opportunities to reach their potential; and

  • Ensuring the inclusion and fair treatment of everyone, including oppressed and marginalized individuals and groups.

 

      1.3 Fostering understanding and respect for human rights by:

  • Helping to recognize, protect, and ensure the equal and inalienable right and inherent dignity of all persons to live in a free, just and peaceful society without regard to race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, physical characteristics, disability, marital status, family status, age, ancestry, place of origin, place of residence, socioeconomic background, linguistic background etc. at the individual, organizational and public policy levels.