'We must do more': CBE responds to Calgary high school walkouts
The Calgary Board of Education is responding to student walkouts held throughout the city, saying staff will work with students to keep schools safe.
The walkouts started last week amid sexual assault allegations at Western Canada High School.
Students at the school staged a walkout on Nov. 16 in an effort to show support for survivors of sexual assault and to bring to light what they said was a lack of support by school administrators.
On Friday, the CBE's chief superintendent of schools Christopher Usih sent a letter to parents and guardians of high school students.
"We have heard from our high school students, staff and administration that there are concerns with the way our system and our schools manage, respond to and address student concerns and complaints related to sexual harassment and assault," he said in the letter.
"A significant number of CBE students have expressed their concerns by walking out of class, staging protests, and sharing their stories through social media, news media, and directly to their school leadership and my office."
Usih said he met with high school principals this week and asked them to consider what additional supports may be required.
"These situations are complex for many reasons and respecting the privacy of those involved is very important. However, it is clear that we must do more," he said.
"School leaders are supporting ongoing dialogue and further fostering an environment where all students know how to report a concern, and where the concerns expressed by students and staff are acknowledged appropriately."
The CBE said "senior leaders" will be reviewing the feedback from students to determine the actions they can take to ensure a welcoming, caring and respectful environment at these schools.
"We will continue to further this work with our school communities and I encourage you to share your thoughts and concerns with your child’s principal."