To Halton District School Board students and families,
We wrote to you last spring denouncing the persistent and ongoing racism that led to a broad response across North America and, in fact, across the world. At that time, we reminded all of our responsibility to intervene and respond to situations where racism exists. Recent local acts of hate that have occurred in Halton have reinforced the need for collective action to ensure that anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism is eliminated. When discriminatory acts occur in our school communities, it contributes to the ongoing harm, trauma and pain felt by targeted communities and society at large.
We recognize the systems of oppression that exist within society and educational institutions. The following are a few examples of how we intend to build upon past work to support building respectful, inclusive and caring school communities.
We are committed to ensuring inclusive, equitable and safe spaces for all students and staff. This is affirmed in the Multi-Year Plan 2020-2024 which incorporates specific goals and strategies to intentionally confront racism in our schools and workplaces.
The HDSB recently launched the Human Rights Equity Action & Accountability Plan: The Way Forward to reflect the Board’s commitment to create and maintain safe, equitable, inclusive learning and working environments free from discrimination for students, families, staff and members of the public.
To address and interrupt racist and discriminatory language, the Board has developed the HDSB Discriminatory & Harmful Language Protocol, a critical response framework for implementation across all HDSB sites.
The HDSB is in the process of establishing a multi-stakeholder Human Rights & Equity Advisory Committee (HREAC) that will propose and respond to human rights and equity initiatives that support student achievement and well-being.
All HDSB staff and trustees engage in training and ongoing learning opportunities focused on creating equitable and inclusive environments for students and staff.
There is significant work to be done and we are all responsible and accountable for our future actions and past negligence in addressing racism and discrimination in our schools, workplaces and broader society. The HDSB is committed to working with students, staff, parents/guardians and community partners to nurture equity across the Board and create the conditions where all are respected and empowered to achieve their full potential.
Director of Education
Chair of the Board