Today, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce issued a statement regarding Arleen Huggins' investigation report on the Peel District School Board (PDSB). He also provided a direction to the Peel board in response to the investigator's report, "The Board is required to demonstrate to the Minister's satisfaction that the members of the Board can sustainably work together, and with the senior management team, to provide good governance in the interests of all students of the PDSB. This direction requires that the Board provide the Minister with a plan to address the key findings in Ms. Huggins' report. This direction must be met by June 22, 2020."
Joint statement from the Chair of the Board Brad MacDonald and Director of Education Peter Joshua:
This morning, the Board received the Report of Investigator Arleen Huggins appointed by Minister Lecce and a new directive from Minister Lecce.
That directive requires the Board to answer some fundamental questions about our ability to get this very important work done, and done right. The Minister is also asking for our response by June 22, 2020. We will meet that requirement.
Our response will include the specific actions that are already underway, and how we will address issues raised by the Investigator, including the division among members and within the senior management of the Board; a comprehensive plan to consult with all community groups; and timelines and deliverables that the Board will meet to implement the plan.
Let there be no mistake, the leadership team at the Peel District School Board shares a commitment to bring about the changes needed to end the systemic anti-Black racism that exists in our schools, policies and workplaces.
While our commitment to undertake anti-Black racism work today is real, we acknowledge there is reason for scepticism and mistrust sowed by years of inaction. As educators, we know you expect and deserve better from us.
The Black community in the Peel District School Board, and colleagues and students have been telling us for decades that anti-Black racism is part of their daily lived experiences. To date, as a school board, we have not been successful in eradicating anti-Black racism.
Both individually and collectively, we have made clear that the era of denial about anti-Black racism cannot persist any longer. We must intentionally interrupt and disrupt anti-Black racism and all forms of systemic discrimination, and we are committed to doing so.
- Chair of the Board Brad MacDonald and Director of Education Peter Joshua