Trustee Gerlach may only participate in full Board meetings and other meetings or events to which she is invited by the Board Chair;
Trustee Gerlach will be removed from and will no longer be appointed to committees and other assignments of the Board, internal or external to the District;
Trustee Gerlach will not engage directly with staff or students at District schools in her capacity as a Trustee; and
Trustee Gerlach will attend an accredited program of study including topics of Truth and Reconciliation and restorative communication.
Trustee Gerlach will refrain from initiating contact with or addressing comments to the Host Nations in her capacity as a Trustee in the absence of a direct invitation from the Host Nations.
Trustee Gerlach will also direct a personal apology to the School and District staff impacted by her conduct through the Superintendent.
I want to emphasize that the Board followed the policies and procedures it has in place to address challenging matters of this nature. As previously noted, the Board did not reach its conclusions or make its determinations lightly. As a Board, these are difficult but important matters to address because it is the right thing to do for the Board and the School District.
As I have previously stated on behalf of the Board, I would like to again offer my most sincere apology for the hurt and pain Trustee Gerlach's offensive remarks of May 18, 2021 have caused.
Our Board of Education and the North Vancouver School District remain committed to reconciliation through education, and we look forward to a school year like none other as we progress towards truth, healing, and reconciliation through leadership, courage, commitment, and hard work.
Soon after the TRC Calls to Action were released, the Board of Education and North Vancouver School District wrote an
open letter to the community in support of the TRC’s Calls to Action for Education. In the letter, we joined the Commission in asserting, “Schools must teach history in ways that foster mutual respect, empathy and engagement. All Canadian children and youth deserve to know Canada’s honest history, including what happened in the residential schools, and to appreciate the rich history and knowledge of Indigenous nations.” Furthermore, we agreed with the Commission's statement that “...all Canadians have a critical role to play in advancing reconciliation."
As we move forward into this new school year, we are actively taking steps to rededicate our efforts. As previously announced, we have launched a new Ten-Year Strategic Plan which reaffirms our commitment to truth, healing, and reconciliation and embedding Indigenous worldviews and ways of knowing. Through our strategic goals, our collective hope is to educate and support citizens of humanity to have the knowledge, skills and thoughtful and compassionate attitude needed to contribute to a healthy, inclusive, and equitable society for all.
We thank our partners in this work, including the Host Nations and our District staff, students, and parents as we further this journey of truth, healing, and reconciliation.
More generally, as we move forward, we are very excited about what is unfolding in our District this year including: the official opening of Argyle Secondary and raising of the new Welcome Pole; the completion of the seismically safe and renovated Mountainside Secondary; the completion and opening of the new Handsworth Secondary School (7 months early!); implementation of a new 10-year strategic plan; and ideally, the resumption of winter concerts, sports games and regular grade 7 and 12 graduation ceremonies.
These are all very positive developments that are a testament to the hard work and vision of our Board and District community.
Chair, Board of Education