TORONTO, May 18, 2017 /CNW/ - "I started fighting for my children, and together with parents and community members we challenged racism across the education system in Ontario," said Charline Grant, after settling her human rights cases about racism with the York Region District School Board.
After a long struggle, Charline Grant has received a full apology from the school board and assurances of concrete steps to stamp out racism at the Board. The settlement includes the Board's commitment to:
- Establish a Human Rights Office that will collect and distribute equity-related data
- Roll out mandatory training for all staff on equity, human rights, racism and anti-oppression, including anti-Black racism
- Provide human rights compliance training for all staff who oversee complaint processes
- Ensure students experiencing discrimination are aware of support services
- Hold a two-day workshop to focus on delivering educational programing to racialized students with topics such as Islamophobia, anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism
- Establish subcommittees to address issues of anti-Black racism and Islamophobia and invite community members to participate
The Board acknowledged that parents and community members experienced the Board's responses as "hostile, dismissive, arrogant and inappropriate" and that "this was how they experienced the Board's response to human rights complaints, including complaints about anti-Black racism."
Roger Love, Grant's lawyer from the Human Rights Legal Support Centre, saluted Grant's fierce advocacy for her children and members of Ontario's Black communities, "School is where it all begins – a place to learn that we should be treated equally. There is no room for racism in our crowded classrooms or school board meetings."
The Human Rights Legal Support Centre provides free legal assistance to people in communities across Ontario who have experienced discrimination contrary to Ontario's Human Rights Code.
SOURCE Human Rights Legal Support Centre
For further information: Jennifer Ramsay, Human Rights Legal Support Centre, 416-597-4958, Mobile: 416-522-5931