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Letter: Combating Hate and Promoting Understanding

Tuesday, December 21, 2021
Categories: Board and Trustee Governance

December 20, 2021

Deputy Minister, Patrick Case
Education Equity Secretariat

Dear Deputy Minister Case,

On behalf of the Toronto District School Board, I am writing to ask for guidance, resources, and funding to support professional learning for our staff to identify, address and eliminate incidents of hate and racism to maintain a school system that is free from discrimination and harassment.

Currently, the Board has dedicated resources and strategies to support 2SLGBTQ+ students and staff along with addressing anti-Black and anti-Asian racism. However, ​we recognize that this is not enough. The recent Integrity Commissioner’s report suggests that the TDSB has significant learning to do to build an understanding of antisemitism and Islamophobia.

Our Director of Education, Colleen Russell-Rawlins, has put in motion a three-point plan, including the creation of an internal staff team that includes external secondments, to deepen learning in these two areas. To ensure effective development and implementation, we are seeking funding and resources from you to help bring this to fruition.

The TDSB’s Human Rights Office has been working tirelessly to support and inspire the creation and preservation of a proactive, inclusive, and transformational culture of human rights. The mission to achieve equitable outcomes in TDSB learning and working environments that are free from discrimination and harassment is a continuous effort put forth by staff, students, and families. However, incidents of racism and discrimination are still prevalent in our school system. Every incident of hate is now tracked and monitored through the Racism, Bias, and Hate Portal (RBH), an online system, managed by our Human Rights Office, which enables incident reporting on racism and hate incidents involving or impacting students in schools.

The Board is committed to supporting educators in responding to historical and present-day acts of oppression and injustice as they arise. ​We continue to engage in the provision of initiatives and opportunities to equip our students with the tools they need to be inclusive and respectful members of society. As a Board, we are committed to ensuring the same for Trustees.

For the reasons mentioned above, we are asking that you provide funding support.

As always, I am happy to continue this conversation at your earliest convenience.

Thank you,

chair brown's signature

Alexander Brown

Chair, Toronto District School Board