The Peel District School Board (PDSB) is implementing an anti-Islamophobia strategy.
The board passed a motion at its Sept. 30 meeting to introduce the strategy, proposed by trustee Nokha Dakroub, that would require all staff participate in anti-Islamophobia training.
“Hate crimes have been on the rise, making Muslims one of the most targeted communities in Peel Region. Such events have had a significant impact on our students, and the broader Muslim community’s sense of safety and belonging,” Dakroub said during the meeting.
“We have a responsibility to ensure that our schools are welcoming to all of our students, including our Muslim students. We have a responsibility to ensure our schools are welcoming to all of our staff, including our staff of Muslim faith.”
The Peel Board is the first in the Greater Toronto Area to commit to creating such a strategy.
The PDSB will create a committee, made up of board members and community members, that will be responsible for overseeing the rollout of the strategy.
In addition to training for staff, the strategy will include accountability measures, and regular communication with the broader community, and it will focus on education and building understanding.
“The Region of Peel is home to a diverse community, that includes a vibrant Muslim community. We have a responsibility as the largest education institution to raise awareness and build understanding,” Dakroub said.
“This is a critical step in our education system, for the safety, security, and well being of both Muslim staff and students within the PDSB,” said National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM). “We look forward to this motion being put to action and monitoring its progress in the PDSB.”
“We continue to call on all Canadian school boards to explore their own anti-Islamophobia frameworks in a similar manner.”