peel school board

Peel school board majorly screws up event meant to celebrate Black students

Toronto area residents are shocked and disappointed with the Peel District School Board after a sign-up form for an event for Black students was accidentally posted in its draft form, which included a line seeming to show that the board was not taking the initiative very seriously.

"Thank you for your participation in this special project for our young Black female students. This labour of love will bring them joy and hopefully inspire them to be able to be their true future selves," an online document titled "*DRAFT* Poetry Reading Sign-Up" read.

It then continued with "blah blah blah" — which understandably made screengrabs of the document go viral across social media this week.

The document was linked in a call for staff submissions to a district-wide video event in April called Black Girl, You are Loved, which aims to send uplifting poetic messages to Black, African and Caribbean female or non-binary identifying students in kindergarten to Grade 8.

The Board issued a formal apology today in the wake of strong backlash, admitting that its communications department majorly messed up and that the authority as a whole has a lot of work to do when it comes to recognizing and putting an end to anti-Black racism.

"This post did not meet the equity, inclusion, anti-oppression and anti-racism standards of the Peel board," the statement reads. 

"We recognize that the premature sharing of content in draft form was both hurtful and damaging to members of our Peel community, particularly Black staff members in our schools. For this, we apologize."

The PDSB added that it will, of course, be more careful going forward as far as its process for editing and approving internal and external communications, and that the snafu "highlights why our work to name and dismantle systemic racism by addressing and naming racist actions is critical."

People are saying, though, that the simply apology is not enough.

It was less than a year ago that a principal at a Peel high school that was temporarily removed from her position for racist and xenophobic comments made at a staff meeting.

Lead photo by

S.K. Law/Google

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