Eliminate Anti-Black Racial Discrimination in the Peel District School Board
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To the Minister of Education Stephen Lecce and the Peel District School Board Trustees,
Due to the longstanding systemic anti-Black racism at the Peel District School Board, Stephen Lecce initiated a review of the PBSB on November 7th, 2019. The initial reviewer team excluded a black person, which was then added after much critique. Although Black parents and community members welcomed the review, we are disappointed that the Board was given the responsibility to implement the directions. History teaches us that racism never fixes itself.
The Minister’s Directions strategically omit naming anyone responsible in regards to the litany of human rights abuses detailed, even if Lecce universally condemned the leadership. The recommendations and directions in the Review of the Peel District School Board Report concerning anti-Black racism at the PDSB are not reflective of the adverse impacts on the Black community.
The lack of accountability leaves the community traumatized with the voyeurism laid out bare in the Report. Once again, we are reminded of the pain, the dashed hopes and dreams of our youth without much recourse from the Ministry of Education.
So, we the diverse communities of African descent, demand the following be added to the Directions immediately.
That Peter Joshua, Director of Education and the Peel District Board Trustees step down immediately.
That the Chair and Vice Chair resign from the leadership roles on the Peel District School Board.
That the Board and the Black/African communities immediately enter into facilitated discussions to provide guidelines for a Truth and Reconciliation process, (see South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission). This will ensure healing and redress for the psychological harm inflicted on children and to move forward in planning in partnership for Black/African student success and achievement. Including and not limited to a review of student’s referrals to Applied and Locally Developed courses and developing a Bill of Rights for students and parents.
That in accordance with Section 14 of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the recommendations 4-24 of the Review Report (including exploration of establishing Afrocentric schools in the Board) be undertaken with the full participation of the Black/African communities - including agencies and parents. We must be effectively consulted, bearing in mind the historical and present disparities and disproportionalities.
That the current Associate Director of Instruction and Equity be given a clear authority and responsibility to lead on the equity plan. The Associate Director must also be provided with all appropriate resources to ensure the success and full compliance with the recommendations/directions.
That the Youth Ed and Student Resource Officer programs, including the PDSB/PRP protocol, be removed without delay. The targeted unnecessary and excessive discipline and criminalization of Black/African students and the school to prison pipeline is wholly unacceptable.
The trespass and the warning letters imposed on community parent advocates Idris Orughu and Kola Iluyomade respectively, should be rescinded immediately.
Help us intervene to eliminate Anti-Black Racism against our Youth in the PDSB by signing this petition!
Advocacy Peel is a grassroots parent led multicultural organization established (in 2017) as a response to the discrimination, pain and suffering of children of African descent endured and engineered in the Peel District School Board.
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