Toronto-area school board promotes racially segregated programs

"Parents/guardians of African, Black, and Afro-Caribbean students are invited to attend an upcoming information session..."


Last week, the Peel District School Board in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada announced that it would be hosting a segregated information session "for Black Families" on Jan. 17. 

In a post on X, the school board invited "Parents/guardians of African, Black, and Afro-Caribbean students" to attend an "upcoming information session on Elementary Regional Learning Choices Programs."

According to the school board's website, the Regional Learning Choices Program (RLCP) "empowers students by providing them with opportunities to explore their skills in a particular area of interest such as the arts, business, technology, sports, skilled trades and leadership." 

It also notes that as a part of its commitment to "equity and inclusion," if a student self-identifies as African, Black, Afro-Caribbean, First Nations, Inuit, or Métis on the application form, they "will be accepted into the program without participating in the random selection process." It lists the district's "Black Excellence Guidance counselor" as the point of contact for more information on the RLCP's program. 

In the frequently asked questions section on the program, the Peel School District says that the self-identification is in response to a 2020 review by the Ministry of Education in which they directed the school to "Develop and implement a comprehensive Annual Equity Accountability Report Card." 

In directive 14 of the review, the school board was forced to establish a four-year strategy to "address and eliminate statistically significant disproportionalities in enrolment, achievement and outcomes of Black students, other racialized students and Indigenous students in applied academic, locally developed, Special Education, and Regional Choice pathways and programs." 

The Peel District School Board previously made news in September when it allegedly purged all books published before 2008 from its library, including Anne Frank's diary and "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." The book removal was a result of a decree on equity by the Ontario Ministry of Education that demanded that the books in libraries be inclusive. 

Other books that were removed included ones from the Harry Potter series, The Hunger Games, and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.

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