STOP the Inequitable delivery of School Board Equity Census

STOP the Inequitable delivery of School Board Equity Census

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Laura Sprenger started this petition to Halton District School Board and

So far, 26,000+ Students in the Halton District School Board have participated in a Board-wide census

many without parental consent. 

Parents/Guardians were promised that a clear opt out link would be made available to them prior to the the roll out of this census and it was not.

This promise is visible on the December 8,2020 recording of the HDSB Student Census information session beginning at minute 31:30.  Here, parents were promised that prior to the roll out of the census, they would be given "a link to an online form where you can submit your request to have your child opted out of the process...and you have our assurance that your child will not...receive the electronic invitation to complete the student census." 

THIS PROMISED OPT OUT LINK AND FORM NEVER CAME, but the census did.

For a variety of reasons (whether developmental, cultural, religious, or personal) parents/guardians may have chosen to opt out using this clear process.    

On February 8th, 2021 after the census had already started rolling out, an urgent request was made for the census to be placed on hold until the promised opt out link was provided and parental consent was acquired for any families not already impacted. The Board ignored this request in spite of it's promise, and continues to roll out the census to students.  It was not until February 24th after much advocacy, that the Board reluctantly responded with a school-wide 5 paragraph email message to families IN ENGLISH ONLY which tucked this (not previously communicated) instruction into the bottom of the 4th paragraph; "If you...would like to have your child opt-out of the Census, email studentcensus@hdsb.ca to initiate the opt-out process."   Although a clearer communication, this was still not the promised opt out link and the census continued to move forward. 

To date, families which are not English-first-language homes (which according to HDSB data from 2017 are greater than 20% of homes) have not received this clearer email in their first language and it is quite possible they are unaware that this census is continuing to roll out to their children.  This is inequitable! 

Through this inequitable roll out, the desired outcomes of this census as stated by the Board have already failed to be achieved.  The Board states that “the findings will help the HDSB and our schools to:

- fully understand the needs of all students and families to support student success and well-being

- identify and eliminate discriminatory practices, systemic barriers and bias in order to ensure equitable opportunities and outcomes

-  and allocate resources to support students and programs where the need is greatest.”

Equity is for everyone, even those who may not wish for their children to participate at this time or in this way. 

We demand the following:

1. An immediate pause on the roll out of the HDSB student census.

2. Communication to all parents with a clear opt out link for the census, including "Student census opt out link" in the subject header, and a one week (minimum) window for parents to opt out.  Including a link to the census questions.

3. An apology for not providing the opt out link to parents/guardians of the first 26,000 plus students who have been given the census, including a link to the census questions. 

4. Accountability for those directly involved in refusing to pause the census in order to ensure parents had the clear tools and opportunity to opt out prior to delivery.  

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!