Chairperson’s Report to Council for January 2023

by Judy Kelley, Chairperson, LBPSB

Welcome to our first Council meeting of 2023.
The PCHS students who presented their Gender-based Violence Prevention Project tonight remind us, once again, of powerful student engagement and a heartfelt and meaningful desire to make a difference, not only in their school, but in the world. Their project reflects on the tragedy at L’École Polytechnique in Montreal, the anti-feminist attack where 14 women were killed on December 6, 1989. Their project is also in memory of a student graduate from the community who was a tragic victim of gender-based violence. Our meeting this evening falls directly after a weekend where International Holocaust Remembrance Day set on January 27th acknowledging the anniversary date of the liberation of 6 million Jews from Auschwitz in 1945 took place. As well, we are acknowledging, sadly, January 29th, The National Day of Remembrance of the Quebec City Mosque Attack and Action Against Islamophobia, a tragic and hateful crime where 6 men were killed in 2017, in their place of worship, at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City. Students and staff across the LBPSB have participated in commemorations of these events this past week as we think about the victims, the survivors, their families, their loved ones. We all know that education is the key to eradicating ignorance, hatred and violence. Knowing truth by understanding current and past events contributes to shaping a kinder and more inclusive world. This work is part of what takes place at the LBPSB every day. Sometimes, we may feel we have taken two steps forward and one step back. This work is hard. But hard is hard. The rewards and benefits of staying on this road are infinite. Our Council of Commissioners is committed to supporting and participating in the initiatives of LBPSB to ensure an inclusive and equitable environment for learning where every student and employee feels safe and is able to participate and succeed to their fullest.

And, on a technical note, while we await a few more features to be added to the Board Room which will contribute to flawless delivery of our meetings, we will be holding our Council and Executive meetings only on Zoom for the time being. As soon as the renovated space, which is also used for other meetings and conferences, is better equipped acoustically and also ready for a hybrid model of participation and webcasting, we will use the Zoom platform.

To conclude my remarks tonight I would like to reiterate that I ask us to stand by each other in collective courage and hope for a better, peaceful and caring world. I urge us all to be kind and patient, to bring out the goodness in everyone and to use this endless resource of kindness to enhance and enrich the work we do for the best school board in the Province.

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