Peel board approves first anti-Islamophobia education strategy in Canada for Mississauga and Brampton schools


Published January 26, 2023 at 10:48 am

peel district school board

For the first time in Canada, a school board has passed an anti-Islamophobia educational strategy for schools in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon.

The Affirming Muslim Student Identities and Dismantling Islamophobia Strategy was approved at the Peel District School Board on Jan. 25.

“Today, for the first time in Canadian history (and maybe North American history) a school board in Canada finally issued an anti-Islamophobia educational strategy,” Aasiyah Khan, manager of education programs for the National Council of Canadian Muslims wrote in an email on Jan. 25.

The strategy comes amid difficult and frightening times for students.

“We’ve gotten calls almost every day for the last few weeks about horrific issues relating to Islamophobia in our schools, some violent, and some systemic,” Khan wrote. “That’s why we’ve been fighting, alongside so many allies, for changes.”

The strategy addresses one of the 27 directions set out by the province in the wake of issues of systemic racism in Peel schools and inaction from the board. The board passed a motion from former trustee Nokha Dakroub to develop an anti-Islamophobia strategy in September 2021.

The 31-page document outlines guiding principles, pillars, priorities, and accountability measures. It names and identifies specific actions that Peel educators, staff, students and community members are required to take to affirm student identities while dismantling Islamophobia, anti-Muslim bias, prejudice and hate throughout the board.

It commits to a cross-functional, whole-of-system approach that is designed to affirm Muslim student identities and dismantle Islamophobia.

The Peel District School Board consulted with several community groups and will continue to work with the National Council of Canadian Muslims and other Muslim communities on an ongoing basis.

This will ensure accountability measures in challenging Islamophobia.

And the organization will be involved in developing and implementing annual mandatory anti-Islamophobia training for staff.

See the full Affirming Muslim Student Identities and Dismantling Islamophobia Strategy here.

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