The TDSB and YRDSB need to develop an anti-Asian racism action plan

The TDSB and YRDSB need to develop an anti-Asian racism action plan

186 have signed. Let’s get to 200!

photo by Darryl Dyck for The Canadian Press

中文版联署书請至 (Petition in Chinese)

SIGN ON THIS PETITION TO SUPPORT the request by the Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter (CCNCTO) and the Urban Alliance of Race Relations (UARR), for a motion to be passed with a commitment to develop a strategy and action plan for dismantling anti-Asian racism in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and the York Region District School Board (YRDSB).

Who we are 

The Urban Alliance of Race Relations works with diverse community organizations on addressing racism in the education system, including working with the Muslim and Black community to fight against Islamophobia and anti-Black racism in various school boards.

The Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter represents East Asian youth within the school board and their caregivers who have spoken up about their experiences of anti-Asian racism in TDSB and YRDSB schools.

Why we need this change 

The rise of anti-Asian racism hurts Asian children, youth, families and community members.

Issues of anti-Asian racism are far from new or surprising in our community, but have been uncovered through conversations with our community members in the past two years. Additionally, over the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a rise in anti-Asian racism and violence towards the East-Asian population across the country.

Between the period of March 2020 to February 2021, we collected 1,150 incidents of racism through our anti-Asian racism reporting platform.  In 2021, anti-Asian racism incident reports from children and youth (aged under 18) represented a 286% increase compared to 2020, with many incidents happening in schools. 

Education plays a significant role in the lives of children and youth— they spend the majority of their day at school. Anti-Asian sentiment and racism exist systemically within our schools and also through the everyday interactions that children, youth and their caregivers have with their peers, teachers, and other school staff. Furthermore, through consultation and important conversations with high-school students and their caregivers in our community over the past two years, it has come to light that Asian students are facing anti-Asian racism and discrimination at school from their peers, teachers, and administrators, and consequently, suffer from challenges related to mental health. 

Quotes from anonymous community members:

“When I asked the principal to kindly pull up his mask he refused to, while also saying that ‘his kind’ was not the one that started the virus.”

“My daughter's white classmate said to her, "I hate Chinese people!" during a Grade 4 class on the cusp of the pandemic. My daughter reported this to their white teacher who then yelled to the white classmate, "<name of student>, be quiet!" and that was the end of that. There was no speaking to the white student or the class about offensive racist comments and how this can hurt people. There was no lesson learned.”

“It occurs mostly every day but in the least expected place you think it would happen. It happened in school, and no not teachers, the others kids my age [are] being racist saying ching chong, calling me a ch**k, and making their eyes small.”


The impacts on youths’ well-being are exacerbated when their experience of encountering anti-Asian racism is being dismissed and invalidated by adults, including teachers, administration and even their own parents, who are lacking the awareness about and the tools to address anti-Asian racism. Moreover, newcomer families face additional challenges, such as language and resource access, in order to navigate the systems and processes within their schools that are not being met. The students of our community are falling through the cracks of our education system in the TDSB and YRDSB. 


What we are asking for 

The TDSB and YRDSB need to address the rise of anti-Asian racism by committing itself to developing a comprehensive strategy and action plan immediately.

A motion should be passed by the York Region District School Board and Toronto District School Board to:

  • Acknowledge and condemn the existence and prevalence of anti-Asian racism within the both school boards, and
  • To put forward a concrete action plan with dedicated resources and a detailed timeline on addressing anti-Asian racism in TDSB and YRDSB, immediately. 

Furthermore, the motion should contain allocated funding dedicated to a task force and/or hiring of a new staff member to solidify the TDSB and YRDSB’s commitment to dismantling anti-Asian racism and to ensure the well-being of the current Asian educators and staff members in the spirit of employment equity. This work should not further be put on the shoulders of existing Asian staff and educators. The work should be done meaningfully with the consultation and input of Asian community organizations, students, caregivers, community members, educators and staff. 

As the TDSB and YRDSB both have a significant population of East Asian students, this comprehensive strategy is necessary for the well-being and success of our children and youth, and is long overdue.



Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter (CCNCTO) (

Urban Alliance of Race Relations (UARR) (


186 have signed. Let’s get to 200!