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Toronto District School Board

Establishing Provincial Reporting Standards on Incidents of Racism, Bias and Hate

Categories: Advocacy

April 3, 2024  


Dear Minister Lecce, 

On behalf of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), we are writing with an urgent request to better support school boards across Ontario in combatting incidents of hate and racism within schools. As you know, the number of these incidents continues to rise in schools and in communities. The TDSB has done its utmost to support students, staff and schools in responding to these incidents, however we can longer do it alone – especially given increased expectations from our communities to be able to clearly illustrate what is occurring in our classrooms and buildings and respond accordingly. As such, we strongly believe the establishment of provincial reporting standards or guidance, combined with the development of a tool that school boards across Ontario could use to collect data, is needed to better enable boards to respond to incidents of hate.   

In 2019, TDSB Trustees passed a significant motion titled "Dealing with Incidents of Racism and Hate," demonstrating our commitment to addressing these issues head-on. Subsequently, our dedicated staff formulated PR 728 - "Reporting and Responding to Racism and Hate Incidents Involving or Impacting Students in Schools" in October 2020, aligning with the spirit of the Board motion.  

However, despite these efforts, our recent Fall 2023 Update on Responding to Incidents of Racism, Bias, and Hate revealed significant challenges in effectively collecting and reporting data on hate incidents. The current portal, while serving as a valuable process for improving incident identification and response, was not designed for systematic data reporting. Consequently, the creation of comprehensive reports, as mandated by our Board resolution, becomes a time-intensive commitment for our staff, with data only being reported annually in our Human Rights report.  

To fully honour the Board resolution and effectively combat hate in our schools, it is imperative that we establish a new data collection system. This system must be designed to facilitate consistent and efficient reporting of hate incidents, enabling us to identify trends, allocate resources, and implement targeted interventions. However, the development and implementation of such a system will require additional analysis to determine the associated costs and timeline.  

Furthermore, alongside standardized reporting mechanisms, there is a pressing need for educational tools that can be utilized by school boards across the province to educate against hate. By providing schools with access to resources and strategies for promoting inclusivity, empathy, and understanding, we can foster environments that reject hate and discrimination.

In light of the above, we respectfully urge the Ministry of Education to prioritize the establishment of provincial reporting standards or guidance, along with the development of a reporting tool to enable boards to better address hate in schools. By working collaboratively with school boards, stakeholders, and community partners, we can create safer and more inclusive learning environments for all students.  

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to your support and collaboration in advancing these critical initiatives. 



Rachel Chernos Lin               Colleen Russell-Rawlins   
Chair                                      Director of Education  



Ontario Public School Boards’ Association  
Council of Ontario Directors of Education  
TDSB Union and Federation Partners