Trustees with the Toronto District School Board have unanimously voted to develop and implement a system-wide comprehensive strategy to address Islamophobia.
The creation of this new strategy will further build on the work of the broader TDSB Anti-Hate and Anti-Racism Strategy, which addresses all forms of racism, hate and discrimination.
With tonight’s approval, staff will now prepare a report to be presented to the TDSB’s Planning and Priorities Committee at a fall meeting, where they will update Trustees on the development of the new strategy.
In March 2022, the TDSB launched a formal plan to ensure students and staff move beyond performative responses to hate and racism. The Combatting Hate and Racism – Student Learning Strategy became part of a multi-faceted approach to better understand and address the impact of hate and racism within the TDSB.
According to the TDSB’s Human Rights Office 2021-2022 Annual Report, hate/bias directed at people for their creed/religion accounted for approximately 10% of all reported incidents, with Islamophobia representing approximately 3%.
“We have heard directly from our communities and have the data to show that Islamophobia continues to impact our students and staff on a regular basis. By taking a focused approach to confronting Islamophobia, we enable more members of our school communities to feel safe and welcome at school and work.”
- Rachel Chernos Lin, Chair, TDSB
“Hate crimes against members of the Muslim community have been on the rise in Canada. Many Trustees, parents, students, community organizations and advocates have raised concerns around incidents of Islamophobia. These incidents have a significant impact on students and their families in the TDSB requiring a more tailored action plan to help support them.”
- Neethan Shan, Vice Chair, TDSB
“The development of an Islamophobia Strategy builds on the important work the TDSB is taking to confront hate and racism through our Anti-Hate and Anti-Racism Strategy. We are committed to improving the focus on affirming Muslim identities and eliminating hate and discrimination in ways that are responsive to the experiences of Muslim-identifying students, staff and families.”
- Colleen Russell-Rawlins, Director of Education, TDSB