Hon. Stephen Lecce
Minister of Education
5th Floor, 438 University Ave.
Toronto, ON M5G 2K8
Dear Minister Lecce,
Over the past weeks, we have seen a rise in protests against anti-Black and systemic racism in Ontario and around the world. We have heard stories from Black Canadians about the pervasive impact of anti-Black racism on their lives.
Systemic racism has always existed in Ontario, but many are just beginning to understand and appreciate how deeply entrenched it is in our society and institutions. Racism is not inevitable, it is learned and learned early.
Systemic racism exists in our education system. Ontario’s public education was founded by Egerton Ryerson, well known for having created the segregated schools for Indigenous and Black students. Black students are more than twice as likely as their peers to be suspended from high school than their white peers. They are more likely to be streamed into non-university track courses.
While there is work to be done to transform our institutions, there are simple, effective steps that you can take immediately to effect positive change in Ontario’s education system. It’s not enough to celebrate Black History Month – we must seek to enlighten Black children and non-Black children about Black history. I urge you to implement the true history of Black People in Canada to be taught as a mandatory party of Ontario’s curriculum.
All students deserve to have every opportunity to reach their full potential and succeed personally and academically. Schools should provide a supportive and inclusive environment where all students have the tools they need to achieve success, whatever that may mean for them.
I thank you for your consideration of this request and would be happy to discuss it with you further at your convenience.
MPP Don Valley West