Statement on behalf of the Board of the Directors of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations regarding the racially motivated incident at Sutton District High School in the York Region District School Board
The Urban Alliance on Race Relations is concerned about this highly disturbing incident of racism in education at the Sutton District High School in the York Region District School Board in which a black student was racially attacked, physically assaulted and had racial slurs directed at him on school/board property.
The Urban Alliance on Race Relations was established in 1975 with the mission to work through research, public education and civic engagement towards establishing and enhancing respectful, peaceful and harmonious relationships among all communities in Toronto and beyond.
Members of our Board of Directors have reviewed the video of the assault and racial name calling with total disgust and we urge meaningful action by the York Region District School Board and the school.
We believe that it is incidents such as this that highlight the need for urgent action to ensure that all within the education community respect the Ontario Human Rights Code especially with regards to the right to freedom from discrimination based on protected grounds in the Code such as race, colour, nationality and place of origin.
Focused and lasting efforts must be made to end racism and elements of structural violence against racialized students in the Sutton District High School. This includes ensuring that the school climate, curriculum, code of conduct and diversity of resources are reflective and respectful of the diversities of all Canadians.
The Urban Alliance on Race Relations is very concerned about the manifestations of racial intolerance and racial violence that was evident in the video and hope that the justice system which the 4 students charged will appear before, will demonstrate Canada’s commitment to the rule of law and fundamental human rights of the student who was racially assaulted.