Dear Peel District School Board Students and Families,
This week has been a heavy week for many of us. Anti-Black racism across North America is nothing new. The Black community in the Peel District School Board, our colleagues and students have been telling us for decades that anti-Black racism is part of their daily lived experiences. And as Will Smith stated, "Racism is not getting worse. It's getting filmed."
We see the significant weight and impact these events have had, and continue to have, on Black communities and other racialized individuals, and would like to acknowledge the hurt, trauma and pain caused by these recent events, including the deaths of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, George Floyd and others.
The era of denial about anti-Black racism cannot persist any longer. If we've learned anything from the series of events this week, it's that anti-Black racism is lethal. Moreover, we are all responsible for the persistence of anti-Black racism by our actions and our inaction, and must intentionally interrupt and disrupt anti-Black racism.
To date, as a school board, we have not effectively addressed anti-Black racism. We acknowledge that we have been complicit in anti-Black racism, and we are committed to doing anti-racist work today and going forward.
The relentless acts of violence and disrespect inflicted upon Black people is very distressing, as these acts are compounded by centuries of physical, social, and psychological anti-Black racism that has been normalized in our white supremacist society. Recovery and coping strategies for those who experience a traumatic event can be found here. If you would like to access community and other mental health supports, please visit our website for resources. If additional support is needed, please contact your Principal and/or Vice-Principal and they will connect you with support through the Peel board's social work and psychology teams.
At this time of great difficulty, our hearts and minds are with everyone who is experiencing loss and pain. May they find strength, hope and peace in the days ahead.
Please take care of yourselves and each other.