First and foremost, we acknowledge the extent to which anti-Black racism and racial harassment, as well as other forms of bigotry, harassment and discrimination exist within the education sector and within the WRDSB.

Education Sector

Promote and strengthen a human rights culture in Ontario that encompasses both rights and responsibilities, with a special focus on educating children and youth and addressing systemic discrimination in our education system. We will
strive to eliminate systemic discrimination that children and youth face in education systems so that, in this formative system, they have a lived experience where human rights are respected in practice.

OHRC – Strategic Plan, 2017-2022

In addition, we want to acknowledge our shortcomings in fully engaging in meaningful and sustained dialogue about these important topics and our efforts in addressing them. We apologize and commit to doing better going forward.

We appreciate all the messages, inquiries and concerns shared by our students, staff and members of our community. Thank you. We hear you. Your voices matter. We are working hard at listening better and being transparent as we engage in this important work with and for our community.

We know we can and must do more to enact meaningful and sustained change, to identify, address and eradicate the harm experienced by marginalized members of our community. As we move forward, we will be actively seeking opportunities for students, families, staff and members of our Community Advisory structures to help us co-create the pathway to the change our community needs and deserves.

The WRDSB is dedicated to addressing racism and all forms of oppression, harassment and discrimination, and to extend ongoing training and accountability for our staff, as it relates to human rights and equity. We remain steadfast in our commitment to advancing our core values and our commitment to equity, inclusion and human rights in building a strong learning, living and working environment for all education stakeholders.

We are actively engaged with members of the African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) community and other stakeholders to address incidents of discrimination and harassment, and dismantling the systemic policies and practices that result in oppression and harm. We look forward to working together on these critical issues.

Response to Reported Incidents

We are deeply concerned about the allegations of racism and experiences of harm that current and former students have been sharing with us via social media outlets, emails and letters. We are taking these very seriously.

Staff are diligently working to respond to all concerns. They have been requesting more information about allegations so that those concerns can be referred to a School Administrator or Superintendent for appropriate follow up. Students and families are encouraged to continue to reach out to their School Administrator and/or Superintendent to disclose experiences of racism or discrimination.

Any allegations that students have submitted implicating staff members will be forwarded to the Superintendent, Human Rights and Equity Advisor and Human Resources Services personnel, as well as the School Administrator, where appropriate. We will be reaching out for additional information about these situations so that a thorough investigation can be conducted.

We sincerely regret the harm our students have experienced. We are committed to learning from this situation and doing what is necessary to prevent future ones.

We have already taken steps to ensure that our school board is better equipped to prevent and address discrimination, harassment and bullying. In September 2019, we established a Human Rights and Equity Department and in January of this year, we hired a Human Rights and Equity Advisor. This role was created to deal with issues of discrimination and harassment, specific to the Ontario Human Rights Code, and to support preventative actions through education and training. We are committed to building a system culture that is rooted in human rights and equity, for students, our families and staff.

All members of the WRDSB community can make a human rights complaint to the Human Rights and Equity Advisor via email at We will manage and investigate these complaints and assist with early resolution and dispute resolution where possible. We will respond to any questions or concerns that are presented to us in a prompt and confidential manner.

We look forward to continue to work with students, families, staff, community members and stakeholders to ensure that each and every one of our students experience a learning environment that is free from discrimination.


Deepa Ahluwalia, Human Rights and Equity Advisor, (519) 570-0003 ext. 4146
Peter Rubenschuh, Superintendent, Student Achievement and Well-Being, (519) 570-0003 ext. 4250