March 1, 2018
At R.E. Mountain we pride ourselves on not only being a diverse gourd of people, but respecting and honouring that diversity through our words and actions. While we will always have work to do in this area, I am constantly delighted by how in general, our kids treat each other. One great tenant of the IB program is that “other people, with their differences, can also be right”. This goes beyond tolerance or acceptance to understanding and empathy. It exemplifies that we all come from different upbringings, have different viewpoints and lenses with which we see the world around us, and that those ways don’t have to be in opposition to each other. It’s about walking in someone else’s shoes. It’s about understanding power relationships and how we fit into them and whether or not our assumptions are based on the comfort in which we have lived within them.
A number of initiatives were held this week to celebrate diversity. The first was that the staff wrote something positive about every student in the school. Those comments were put on cards and mounted around the school front entrance where kids were able to find their name and read a personal comment of encouragement written by one of the adults in the school. It was great to see the looks on students’ faces as they searched out their name and saw what was written about them.
Footprints were taped down around the school talking about bullying and the impact of it. Posters were also placed around the school talking about our relationships and how to keep them positive. On Thursday, there was a Poetry Jam in the cafeteria at lunch where students performed their poems to those eating their lunches. Students and staff wore pink on Wednesday commemorating Pink Shirt Day and staff also donned a new diversity shirt that was distributed earlier this month.
Many other initiatives celebrating diversity happened in classes around the school. We look forward as a school to continuing our growth in this area so that all students can feel fully part of the Mountain community and that this will in turn help to impact the community as they graduate and become positive contributors in society.