The following testimonials are answers from student surveys from students in Grades 6, 7 and 8.
From the Choose Your Voice lessons, I have learned:
- I know I can stand up against racist or prejudiced comments and help prevent them from spreading. No one likes to feel like they don’t matter, so it’s important to show victims that they should speak up if they know something’s wrong.
- When I see someone being racist, I can stand up for the victims and tell the person to stop it. By spreading the news people can be aware racism is still happening very often.
- Now I know that racism is more serious than anyone can imagine. It may happen deliberately or even unintentionally but it is still something wrong. We must help prevent it [from] happen[ing] so often.
- That if you look different, you are still the same on the inside. That you should treat others the same way you want to be treated. That you should stand up for yourself or others.
- What to do if someone is treating you or someone else unfairly because of what they look like or if they are just “different”. I’ve learned what it feels like to be targeted by racism.
- That stereotyping is a bad thing to do. What racism means. That you should stand up for yourself if you or someone else is being bullied.
- To not judge someone by their appearance. To treat each other fairly. To treat each other how you would like to be treated. That there are many countries that still discriminate people because of their ethnicity or religion.
- That stereotyping and racism is very wrong and can lead to serious consequences. I also learned that bullying is shown in different ways like gossiping.
- I feel that everyone should take part in Choose Your Voice and do everything to prevent antisemitism and bullying.
A grade 8 student at Lord Lansdowne School explained to insidertoronto.com that in studying Choose Your Voice, he has learned:
- Everything that I think every good human being needs to learn. It is so distinctively Canadian. Our country is built of all different cultures of the world and we all learn to get along together because racism, it’s a terrible thing.
- There are differences and thus disagreements but there are better ways to overcome these disagreements than violence and misunderstanding. So I think it is important that we all think things through, and get along before the guns come out.
- Before we started learning about the Holocaust, I wasn’t really sure what it meant. I was in for a real shock. I find it difficult to comprehend that some people could be so cruel. The killings were so systematic. They had a plan that they thought must be followed. I learned that hatred breeds hatred, and if we don’t learn about the past, history will repeat itself. If it did, I would hope I had the courage to stand up and speak out against it.
- I want to make sure I can help and that we can stop racism in our school and community.
- I’m not going to stand by. I’m going to help and speak up. Someone has to and we can’t assume it will be someone else.
- From Choose Your Voice I’ve learned that racism shouldn’t exist and I found it troubling that it’s still happening. We’re supposed to be a multi-cultural country.
“Choose Your Voice showed me how hatred and anger can hurt people on the inside and the outside. I learned to respect people no matter how they are on the outside.”
– Student, British Columbia
- I teach in a very multicultural community. Many of my students experience racism – not just from the majority population but also from various minority populations. Adults don’t generally want to talk about it. I don’t think they know how to go about it. That’s another reason why your resource is so important.
Upper Grand District School Board – Grade 8 teacher
- This is such a fantastic package! I’m so impressed with the content and activities. Whoever designed it, really understands what teachers need in a program – it’s well balanced with multimedia, group/independent work and follow up.
Simcoe County District School Board – teacher
- I just wanted to let you know that I have been using Choose Your Voice for years. I have a very active class this year and this package has created some great conversations in our class. Thank you.
University of Toronto – OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education) Student teachers
- Thank you so much for this incredible resource. I just had a chance to watch the clips on the DVD and I already know that I will definitely use these when I teach history… an area that I could definitely bring forth issues of diversity and equity, especially through discussion on the Holocaust and immigration…I also think that the documents that were in the package are amazing… (for) using the classroom as a place to promote equity and I think these resources are perfect for that. Thank you so much again!
- Thank you very much for distributing this (resource) to us. I can see how this material could be useful as a springboard for a discussion on equity and social justice – examining the history of inequality, as well as looking at the choices students can make now to properly address these issues. The lesson plans are outstanding – well organized, and looking at historical figures allows students to understand the tragedies of the past and the present, and let(s) this inform their understanding of how they choose to address equity issues. Thanks again.
- Students who have reputations as being ‘bullies’ have written responses about how they didn’t realize what they were doing was so harmful. Students in some situations began to befriend others from different ethnic/cultural backgrounds that had previously been excluded. Students began to have conversations at home with their parents and this would spill over into classroom discussions.
- It wasn’t until I used the FAST program this year that discussions about racism openly occurred in my room. I still recall one boy’s emotional reaction while watching the video and another tell his story about being racially discriminated on the school grounds of his former school.
- Merci pour votre document. Il m’a grandement aidé pour faire passer des messages de façon professionnelle. Je l’ai utilisé avec satisfaction. Les réponses étaient très positives. Je suis très encouragée à utiliser les différentes ressources de votre centre. … les sujets sont variés et touchent la société sur différents aspects. Le guide permet de rencontrer divers personnages, il est le reflet du Canada. Les contenus sont faciles d’approche et propices aux débats (important au cycle 3). On touche dans le manuel à presque toutes les communautés, ce qui rejoint différents groupes en classe.
- Choisissez votre Voix, guide très pertinent et très apprécie des élèves. Grande facilité d’accès.
- La présente est pour vous faire part de mon appréciation concernant le document de travail FAST que j’utilise cette année auprès d’un groupe d’élèves autistes à haut niveau.
- Dans le cadre d’une pédagogie différenciée où l’intégration des matières et la pédagogie par projets est mise de l’avant, l’utilisation du programme FAST a été la pierre de lance des cours de français, d’histoire, de géographie, d’éthique et de culture religieuse et d’arts plastiques qui sont sous ma responsabilité. Le programme FAST étant conçu pour aider les élèves à se libérer des stéréotypes et des préjugés et les rendre conscients de l’importance de transformer l’information en connaissance, il me semble être un pré-requis à l’enseignement des cours d’éthique et de cultures religieuses.
- Plus encore, ce programme a fournit aux élèves une approche intéressante en regard de la découverte de soi, la découverte de l’autre et l’acquisition de connaissances significatives pour développer une conscience personnelle et sociale en vue d’un engagement communautaire.
Quebec Faculty of Education – UQAM
- Ces étudiants, multiplicateurs dans leurs propres milieux sont conscients de l’importance des enjeux relativement aux problématiques du racisme et de la discrimination dont ils sont souvent témoins, et le programme que vous offrez permet d’identifier des actions pour les contrer. Ce programme est un modèle qui est transférable dans bien des domaines compte tenu de la discussion-réflexion qu’il suscite et de sa facilité d’adaptation.
“What a wonderful challenge to address the vocabulary of diversity education from a different perspective!”
– York Catholic District School Board – Department Head of Religious Education/ Chaplaincy Team Leader
School Boards and other Educators
- (When I was) presented … with this educational resource, it really brought home, within a blink of an eye, how important this is… because it enlightens, empowers and it teaches the children, not only about themselves, but of the importance of a world that is free of racism and free of judgment. It encourages them to love one another and respect other people, no matter where they are from. I hope that the “pebble” we threw into the educational waters of BC has big ripples all over the province. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be a part of it.
Ottawa Catholic School Board – Coordinator of Religious Education and Family Life Education
- This is wonderful work that should be promoted.
Former Ontario Minister of Education, The Honourable Kathleen Wynne
- I applaud the work that has gone into the Choose Your Voice program. All students deserve an education system that is free from bias and discrimination, and celebrates diversity and culture.
(Speech made on March 3rd, 2009 at Lord Lansdowne School)
Canadian Teachers’ Federation President 2009
- Choose Your Voice is an excellent resource. Thank you again for sending us the … material for our fifty Board members. (They) represent 200,000 teachers in the field.
Commission scolaire de la Rivière-du-Nord
- En tant que conseillère pédagogique en anglais langue seconde de la Commission scolaire de la Rivière-du-Nord, je vous écris pour vous communiquer mon intérêt et mon enthousiasme suite a l’utilisation du guide « Choisissez votre Voix » auprès de mes enseignants d’anglais au secondaire. Des préjuges au racisme, de l’exclusion au génocide, ce document aborde adroitement et avec clairvoyance des questions d’intérêt commun.
“Thank you and your colleagues for creating such a wonderful moving presentation to be shared by our schools.”
– Toronto District School Board – Trustee Office Ward 6
* Testimonials remain in their original language