Charline Grant, a Jamaica-born mother of three young children, is officially back in the race for school board trustee,
Grant who was as a candidate for trustee for the York Region District School Board (YRDSB) last Fall, is running for the same position in a by-election next month.
But this time she is running in ” a more crowded field,” she told the Caribbean Camera.
“In the municipal elections on October 22 last, I was running against five other candidates,” she said.
When nominations closed on Monday, no fewer than eleven candidates had filed papers to run in the April 25 by-election which was called to fill the vacancy created by the sudden resignation of Anna DeBartolo who had served the Board for 15 years..
DeBartolo was re-elected trustee for Vaughan wards 1 and 2, winning 4.437 votes.
Grant , the first runner-up, earned 2,161 votes.
Many parents in the area say that Grant should have been called upon to fill DeBartolo’s position.
And the Board’s decision to go through the lengthy, time-consuming and costly process of holding a by-election has angered many voters.
Before running for trustee, Grant made headlines in her battles with the Board over allegations of racism.
In an incident in 2016 she was called a nigger by trustee Nancy Elgie who resigned after she launched a complaint about the racial slur.
The Board apologize to Grant and the Black community for the offensive word.
She had also complained that her son was called “intimidating” and “angry” by his teachers because of his race,
In April 2017, a three-month investigation of the Board by the provincial government found that students, parents and staff had had feelings of “alienation, marginalization and discrimination” and that a culture of fear was rampant within the board.
Mitzie Hunter, then Ontario minister of education, who had appointed two provincial reviewers to investigate the Board, ordered it to implement 22 directives. These included establishing a human rights office, reinstating the Every Student Counts survey that will capture “statistics relating to incidents of racism” and ongoing training for all staff on equity and human rights.
Grant said that she had decided to run for the position of trustee last year after she was turned down when she tried to get on the Board’s parent advisory committee.
She told the Caribbean Camera in an interview last year that it cost her thousands of dollars to run in the elections last October and it will cost her thousands more to run again.
” But I am ready.”
She said that although her election signs are not yet out, she has been busy on the campaign trial.
“I have held several meetings and I have been getting a good reception from the voters. And I remain confident of victory.”