Peel District School Board issues apology for racially insensitive content on internal webpage for staff

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Published February 25, 2021 at 6:35 pm

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The Peel District School Board issued an apology on Thursday after a post on an internal webpage for staff was both “hurtful and damaging” to the community and black staff members in schools.

The PDSB memo said the post, which was shared earlier this week by their communications department and included links in draft form on the board’s internal broadcast page, did not meet the equity, inclusion, anti-oppression and anti-racism standards of the board.

It recognizes that the sharing of the content in draft form was painful to members of the Peel community, in particular Black staff members in schools.

All this happening as schools around the district have been celebrating Black History Month.

“For this, we apologize, and especially to Black, African and Caribbean staff and community members,” said Tiffany Gooch, Executive Lead – Public Engagement & Communications.

“Although the Peel board is taking many steps in its efforts to dismantle anti-Black racism and achieve racial equality, we have much more work to do.”

In a tweet by D. Grant (@thethanksiget) that shared the screenshot of the post, staff who self-identify as Black, African or Caribbean were asked to participate in the creation of a video for an event named “Black Girl, You are Loved.”

The event is geared to kindergarten to Grade 8 non-binary students who self-identify as Black, African or Caribbean.

One of the links included on the post contained a hurtful comment that said “blah, blah, blah.” 

The PDSB has removed the post and it will be re-shared once all of the information is accurate.

“An incident like this should never happen under any circumstances,” Gooch said. “The event which was being communicated in the post is an important gathering of the sisterhood in celebration of Black girls, and one which should not have been negatively impacted in this way.” 

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