Province reviewing Peel District School Board following racism allegations

Nov 7 2019, 11:40 am

The Province of Ontario says it’s launching a review into Peel District Schoolboard following racism allegations within the board’s schools.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced the news on Thursday, saying he is going to appoint reviewers to conduct an immediate review of the board.

Upon completion, Lecce said the reviewers must provide a final report on how the board could ensure governance that “promotes equity, increases accountability and transparency, and safeguards the success and well-being of students — irrespective of heritage, faith, colour of skin, orientation, or socio-economic status.”

“Discrimination and prejudice against students is unacceptable.”

Lecce said schools must be a safe, inclusive, and welcoming place for students, staff, and the entire community.

“The allegations related to equity in the Peel District School Board have raised concerns, specifically related to anti-Black racism and lack of adherence to governance, leadership, and human resources practices.”

Lecce said the allegations have been raised by families, students, the Peel District School Board Director of Education, the board of trustees, and members of the broader community.

“Our government is committed to creating learning environments where all students feel welcomed, included, and respected,” he said.

“We expect our school leaders — trustees and senior administration — to provide effective, transparent, and accountable school board governance, to make sure that students of the board are well served and that they are learning in safe, welcoming and inclusive classrooms, and that board staff are working in an environment that respects and upholds principles of equity and human rights.”

Stan Cameron, the board’s chair, and Sue Lawton, vice-chair, said the board requested assistance from the Ministry of Education on October 17.

In a statement, they said the board is thankful for the ministry’s support and continues to be committed to working alongside the board’s staff, students, families, and community members to ensure student success and well-being.