October 27th, 2020

NDP: Ford Conservatives need to address anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism in education system

Toronto Youth Cabinet issues strong statement on racism in schools

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP critic for Education Marit Stiles (Davenport) and NDP critic for Anti-Racism and Chair of the NDP Black Caucus Laura Mae Lindo (Kitchener Centre) released the following statement in support of a joint statement on anti-Black racism and anti-Indigenous racism in Ontario’s education system by Toronto Youth Cabinet and allies:

“This is not a new call from community to address anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism in our schools” said Lindo. “For far too long, Black students have experienced harsher punishments, academic streaming, systemic racism and discrimination. In August, parents, students and community marched through the streets of downtown Toronto demanding the decolonization of the curriculum, police-free schools and accountability for anti-Black racism.

“It’s time the government addresses the demands of not only the Toronto Youth Cabinet and those who signed this joint statement, but every other organization and community that is demanding the same changes. The NDP Black Caucus has met with students from school boards across the province who share these same concerns about anti-Black racism and racial equity in our schools.”

Ford’s announcement in July to address inequities in education does little to dismantle the root causes of anti-Black racism,” said Stiles. “Students deserve to learn and thrive in a safe and inclusive environment where they know and feel that they are valued.

“The pandemic has also deepened the inequities, Black, Indigenous and racialized students face across the province.

“We stand in solidarity with Black communities across the province, who are demanding that government listen, step up and actually do the work of rooting out anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism in all of our institutions.”

The Ontario NDP Caucus has called on the Ford government to adopt a provincial strategy to address anti-Black racism and racial equity in Ontario’s education system.