What’s New

Safe September Assembly NS: Monday, August 10th 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Since the Nova Scotia government released their back-to-school plan last month, there have been many questions about the logistics: from how public health guidelines will be enforced, to equity for all students in the event of future closures.

Educators for Social Justice NS would like to invite you to a peaceful assembly with an aim of publicly demonstrating the scope of questions and concerns that school staff, students, and families have as they prepare to return to classrooms and hallways in 4 short weeks.

Our hope is that government will see that this touches so many of us, and that we would like them to use the time remaining to fully inform us of their plans and resources to keep everyone safe while learning.

We are eager to get back to our classrooms, but no one wants to be a casualty of inadequate preparation and resources, nor do we want the families of Nova Scotia to suffer the illness or loss of a loved one when there is time to adapt.

See posts on the Facebook event for information on satellite assemblies, protocols, and messaging.

We hope you’ll join us and spread the word.

Social Justice Education Symposium, Planting the Seeds for Our Future Liberation

Regretfully, this event has been postponed as a result of the situation with Covid-19. Please contact esjnovascotia@gmail.com if you have purchased a ticket and are in need of a refund.

Please join us for our second annual Social Justice Education Symposium! This year’s theme is “Planting the Seeds for Our Future Liberation”. The goal of this year’s symposium is to offer workshops and sessions where citizens can participate in a collective imagining of what school for inclusion and decolonization could look like here in Mi’kma’ki, and begin planting the seeds for our collective liberation.

Tickets can be purchased online via Eventbrite for $25 each. In the interest of making the event accessible to all, please consider sponsoring additional attendees as an “add on”. Reduced rates are available for students and others at the door, and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Click here to reserve your ticket today!

For more information on this event, please visit our dedicated page.

Manifesto for Progressive Education

Educators for Social Justice and Nova Scotia Parents for Public Education

On Wednesday January 15, 2020, Educators for Social Justice – Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Parents for Public Education released a co-authored Manifesto for Progressive Education.

The goal of the Manifesto is to promote progressive public education in this province, identify challenges, and consider solutions.

Download the manifesto here.


A statement from Educators for Social Justice – Nova Scotia

During election season, teachers of all levels seize the opportunity to learn about politics. 

Many students have the opportunity to hear first-hand from politicians running to represent them in Parliament. More than a million students across the country will participate in the Student Vote program, and many will host candidates’ forums in their schools.

Regrettably, in this election cycle some politicians are spreading particularly hateful messages regarding immigrants, refugees, LBGT people, and others, and promoting climate-change denial. In Nova Scotia, the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) and the National Citizens’ Alliance (NCA) are running candidates in several ridings. Both parties use rhetoric ranging from explicit hatred to more subtle but familiar “dog-whistle” phrases targeting marginalized groups. 

These candidates should not be invited into our schools. It is incumbent upon us as educators in a public system not to provide platforms where these politicians can promote harm to our students and their families. 

Some well-meaning observers might ask “but what about free speech?” 

Free speech does not mean that anyone may say anything at any time. Institutions like public schools have the responsibility to filter out speech that may incite discrimination and violence, or that is based in faulty or misleading pseudoscience. 

Our centres for education (formerly school boards) have anti-discrimination policies such as this one. All schools in the province are subject to the provincial Guidelines for Supporting Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Students

It’s one thing for politicians to express their hateful and unscientific views online, or out in the broader political world. It’s another thing for our public schools to legitimize them by inviting them to speak at assemblies of children.

We encourage teachers to explore the world of politics with their students, but to be mindful of what information we choose to share – just as we would expect of our students. 

Our students and their families – especially those from marginalized communities – trust us to create a safe and welcoming environment for all. This is not to be taken lightly.

EDIT (October 9th): Some principals have sent teachers a directive that “All candidates [a] district/riding must be invited” if any one candidate is invited. This is apparently coming from higher up. It’s disturbing that the Department of Education would decree this in this context, but teachers should know that the directive is out there (and that technically one could face discipline for not following what is apparently provincial policy).