New Democrats to call for action plan to address anti-Black racism in Peel schools


Stephen Lecce, Sara Singh and Laura Mae Lindo

 New Democrat MPP Sara Singh (Brampton Centre)  will put forward a motion  today in the Ontario Legislature calling on the Doug Ford government to commit to an independent, transparent investigation into anti-Black racism allegations at the Peel District School Board and a properly funded action plan to address its findings.

“Anti-Black racism in schools is, unfortunately, not new. Black community members and families have been fighting this for years. After recent complaints of hurtful and damaging incidents of anti-Black racism in Peel schools, it’s time for an independent, transparent investigation and a commitment from this government to finally act and address it,” said Singh.

The NDP Black Caucus has voiced  its support for this motion and the need for action.

Last week in the Ontario Legislalture, NDP Black Caucus Chair Laura Mae Lindo (Kitchener Centre) noted that Education Minister Stephen Lecce had announced a review of the Peel District School Board.

But  she said   “we do not need another report that will sit on the shelves to collect dust.”

“Only if done right can this review move Ontario one small step closer to becoming a province where Black students can feel safe, supported, and free to learn,”   Lindo added.

In an interview on the weekend with The Caribbean Camera, Singh explained that ” what we are calling for is not just a review.

” The report should address implementation of real solutions to the problem.”

“We’ve been hearing the concerns from parents and students in Peel that this government will just file another report that will be swept under the rug,” she said.

Singh who was born and  grew up in Brampton,  said the issue of anti-Black racism “has been surfacing in our community for years.

“Black students in Brampton were called names by teachers and Black males in particular were streamed into  trades rather than university.”

She also noted that a Peel school board trustee  called  one of the schools in Brampton –  McCrimmon Middle School – “McCriminal.”

The school, which he (the trustee) represents, consists  mainly of students of colour.

The trustee has since apologized for the comment he made about the school.

“Racism in our schools cannot be tolerated. We all have a responsibility to ensure that racialized students feel safe and welcome at their schools and in our communities.” Singh declared.

THE MOTION:

“That, in the opinion of this House, the Ministry of Education should commit to a fully independent, comprehensive public review of the charges of anti-Black racism within the Peel District School Board, and to presenting its findings and plan for action to the House, detailing the resources to be allocated to address this longstanding systemic issue.”