VIDEO: Schools shuts down board meeting after ‘Call for action’ on Palestine in Mississauga

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Published November 30, 2023 at 7:40 pm

VIDEO: 'Call for action' on Palestine in Mississauga and Brampton schools shuts down board meeting

A group calling on educators to talk about Palestine in Mississauga and Brampton classrooms brought their demands to the Peel District School Board this week and had to be removed, forcing board members to move to a “different location” to proceed with the meeting.

The row happened on Wednesday night when members of the group Students in PDSB Schools for Palestine attended a PDSB meeting in Mississauga.

The group, which goes by @palestinepdsb on Instagram, had made multiple posts in the weeks leading up to the meeting calling for students and families to “come show support for Palestine.”

Videos recorded during the meeting show protesters interrupting the proceeding with chants of “free Palestine” and “let them speak” before the trustees left the meeting.

Another video shows members trying to push their way back into a the meeting. One man can be seen in a shoving match with a security guard and others in the crowd shouting “let them speak, we have a right to speak” while shoving their way into the hall.

The group came to the meeting with a list of demands including that that PDSB educators “talk about what is happening in Palestine in our classrooms;” that administration “publicly condemn the ongoing genocide of Palestinians and demand an end to the siege of Gaza;” and that students will not  be “targeted, punished, or repressed in any way by the administration or teachers for speaking up or taking action in support of Palestine.”


A spokesperson for Peel Regional Police said they were notified about the incident but officers were not called to the meeting as the board’s private security was on-site.

Peel District School Board Communications Manager Malon Edwards confirmed the trustees had to move to another room in order for the meeting to proceed “due to disruption by the public attendees.” The live stream of the meeting continued to be available to the public, he added.

“We recognize that this continues to be a deeply difficult time for students, staff and members of our shared communities as we contend with the loss of lives and the impact of current global events,” Edwards said. “We are committed to reinforcing a sense of community, support and care for our students, educators and staff in our schools, worksites, and classrooms (and) it is our commitment to uphold the human rights of all that we serve.”

Insaua.com also reached out to to PDSB Schools for Palestine but no responses were received by publication time.

Educators and academics have come under fire for their stances on the Israel-Palestine conflict following Hamas’ attacks on Israeli civilians on Oct. 7 and weeks of retaliatory airstrikes on Gaza since then have killed thousands.

Earlier this month, the PDSB said a Brampton school principal would be absent while the board investigates an alleged social media post he made related to the conflict.

A PDSB meeting in September also came off the rails when it was disrupted by protesters angered over a Two Spirit and LGBTQIA+ Action Plan.

 

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