NDP calls for province-wide strategy to address anti-Black racism in schools following Peel report
QUEEN’S PARK — Laura Mae Lindo, NDP Official Opposition critic for Anti-Racism, Citizenship and Immigration and NDP Black Caucus Chair, issued the following statement in response to the release of the Peel District School Board (PDSB) Review’s final report on anti-Black racism and the Minister of Education’s directives:
“The findings of PDSB Review into anti-Black racism and discrimination in the Peel District School Board are horrifying, but sadly not surprising. The PDSB Review – like the York Region District School Board Review before it – reiterates patterns of Black students being disproportionately streamed out of academic programs, receiving less support, and being disciplined, suspended and pushed out of schools at rates much higher than their peers.
What is most disturbing, is Minister Lecce’s failure to prioritize addressing anti-Black racism or create meaningful accountability mechanisms in his directives.
With the complaints process regarding Board members paused, there is no clear way for incidents of anti-Black racism within the Board leadership to be reported. Similarly, the Minister has failed to provide reporting mechanisms for the same parents, students and staff whose experiences should have prompted this review many years ago. Parents and students alike have reported issues with School Resource Officers in Peel, yet the Minister’s directives fail to address this. Instead Minister Lecce is taking the mind-boggling step of leaving the same Board that has failed to address community concerns to oversee desperately needed change.
The Ford government must take immediate action to address anti-Black racism and discrimination, both in the PDSB and schools across the province. Rather than do this critical work through the Anti-Racism Directorate, over the past two years the Ford government disbanded the anti-Black racism subcommittee and slashed funding for anti-racism initiatives to just $1,000 across the entire province.
Black students and their families deserve so much better. That’s why New Democrats have tabled a motion calling for a province-wide strategy to address anti-Black racism and equity in schools. We need a strategy that is developed in consultation with the Black community, it needs to be fully funded, and it needs to be publicly accountable.”