Minister of Education Releases Investigator’s Report on the Peel District School Board. Minister Calls for Immediate Action to Confront Racism[MC] On June 8, 2020, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, issued the following statement regarding Ms. Arleen Huggins’ investigation report on the Peel District School Board (PDSB):
“We are determined to confront all forms of racism, discrimination, and hate, against all minority communities in our province. For too long, too many kids have been left behind due to systemic frameworks that perpetuate racism. This is unacceptable and must change.
That is why in November of 2019, I swiftly ordered an investigation into the PDSB, following serious allegations of racism.
To ensure compliance with my direction, on April 27, I appointed Arleen Huggins – a lawyer and human rights advocate – to investigate the PDSB’s capacity to comply with my directions. I have now received Ms. Huggins’ report and would like to thank her for her effective and principled work. Her report reveals the need for real change within this board and provides a necessary component to ensuring these issues are addressed immediately and effectively.
Most troubling, her report finds that certain directions have not been complied with, and moreover, that the PDSB lacks the capacity to provide good governance in the interests of all students of the board and to effectively carry out its responsibilities to oversee and ensure proper compliance with my directions.
As outlined in the Education Act, I am required to provide a final opportunity for compliance from the Board. My expectation is clear: the Board must change, or I will take further action. We cannot and will not sit idle, while families and students continue to feel isolated, victimized, and targeted.
It is clear that we must continue our work to confront racism – specifically anti-Black racism – within our schools across the province. Our Government will continue to drive change, demand improvement, and stand-up for students who face hate and racism.”
The newly-released report lists specific findings, including, that the Board is dysfunctional and, with no prospect of a successful mediation, is incapable of providing good governance.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie expressed her disappointment in a tweet earlier today.
The Board is required to provide the Minister with a with a plan to address the key findings in Ms. Huggins’ report. This direction must be met by June 22, 2020.