The Middle East may be thousands of miles away but the world is small. We know the current crisis deeply impacts many of us in our TDSB family and our hearts and thoughts are with all those affected — particularly Israelis and Palestinians who are experiencing this violence first hand. It is important for us to acknowledge the trauma being experienced by millions as a result of the tragic loss of life and the constant worry about the safety of families and loved ones.
The topic is being widely discussed and we want to ensure that our students, staff and their families are supported during this tremendously difficult time. We all have an individual and collective responsibility to ensure that the TDSB is a welcoming, inclusive and safe space for all students, staff and families. Whether in the classroom or other shared spaces, we encourage compassionate, caring and respectful conversations in our school communities.
If students are experiencing challenges and would like to speak to someone, there are supports available both inside and outside of the TDSB. Professional Support Services staff are available to support students and can be arranged through students’ classroom teacher. Students may also contact the Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868). For staff that may be in need of support, we encourage them to reach out to colleagues or contact the Employee Assistance Program.
Our schools and school communities are places of exploration and discovery and also nurturing, caring environments in which humanity and harmony are honoured.
Karen Falconer Alexander Brown
Interim Director of Education Chair