April 16, 2020

Peel board issues apology in light of the harm to the community, particularly to the Black community

Dear Students, Families and Community within and beyond the Peel District School Board:

Over the past several months, during our execution of duties and stated roles as trustees of the Peel District School Board, debates, discussions and conversations have taken place, and decisions made which have caused hurt and harm for members of the Black community, both those who live in Peel and others who live outside of Peel.  This includes the mishandling of circumstances around the disparaging comment made by a Trustee about McCrimmon Middle School.  We heard from students, staff, families and the community at large about how harmful this comment was, and the negative impact it had. ​

For this, the Board is truly sorry.  All students, community members and employees of the Peel District School Board deserve a safe and caring environment to learn and work. Moving forward, the Board will ensure that Trustees follow the Code of Conduct that clearly outlines the obligation to the Human Rights Code.

The Board and Trustees offer our sincere apologies to students, staff, families and the school community at large for other decisions we have made that have negatively impacted student learning and well-being, as well as staff wellness.   

In our Board, systemic racism exists.  We must do all we can to eliminate the marginalization experienced by Black students and staff in Peel schools. As Trustees, we are required to listen to the concerns and needs of our communities and bring those to the attention of the board.

The Board and Trustees received the Ministry of Education's review which showed we need to do a better job of how we respond to and address incidents of anti-Black racism and other instances of discrimination. 

The Board and Trustees commit to working against all issues of racism so that incidents such as those we have heard do not happen again.  We will continue to rebuild trust, redress the impact, listen to the voices of students, educators and the community so we can move forward in our necessary work to achieve inclusion for all through continuous progress on equity.  We will make the necessary changes to ensure a safe learning and working environment for everyone.​

As Trustees, we are committed to undergo anti-bias awareness training to seek, understand and examine our individual biases.  We look forward to working together with the director, senior administration, staff, students, families and our community to strengthen our commitment to addressing anti-Black racism and all forms of discrimination.  Our Board remains committed to championing equity and inclusion, and to creating and maintaining spaces where all students, staff, families and community members feel safe, respected, welcome and included.

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