ARPCF Adds its Voice to Condemnations of Increasing Anti-Palestinian Racism at the PDSB

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Peel APR May 2024Montreal, May 27, 2024— The Anti-Racism Program of the CJPME Foundation (ARPCF) echoes the sentiments of the recent press release and media brief issued by The Coalition for Palestinian and Muslim Families and Students (CPMFS), which vehemently condemns the Peel District School Board's (PDSB) failure to safeguard the rights and well-being of pro-Palestinian and Muslim students. In recent months, particularly since October, the CPMFS has documented a significant increase in incidents of Anti-Palestinian Racism (APR) within schools under the PDSB's jurisdiction. These incidents have not only gone unaddressed by the board but have also been exacerbated by the board's actions, which effectively silence and marginalize pro-Palestinian students who speak out about the atrocities faced by Palestinians in Gaza and their ongoing struggles.

The ARPCF invites media to participate in the press conference organized by the CPMFS entitled, “Peel District School Board's Failure to Address Discrimination Against Palestinian Students.”  The event will be held as follows: 

When: Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Time: 1:00 pm EST

Location: Peel District School Board, 5550 Matheson Blvd, Mississauga, or Via Zoom Link: 

Note: For more information and media inquiries, please contact: Nora Ward, [email protected]

On the statement and press conference of the CPMFS, Jamila Ewais, lead researcher for the ARPCF, commented, “The Coalition's findings indicate that the behavior of the PDSB is not an isolated occurrence but part of a broader, systemic issue that perpetuates discrimination and silences critical voices under the guise of neutrality.” The CPMFS has identified several distressing APR incidents within the PDSB, including an overuse of disciplinary actions such as suspensions and expulsions disproportionately targeting Middle Eastern students, as well as a troubling tendency to yield to external pressures at the expense of student welfare and inclusivity. This observation was confirmed by a recent suspension report titled “Directive 22-Eliminating Suspensions and Expulsions,” released on March 27, 2024, which showed that while Middle Eastern students constitute only 8% of the student population, they accounted for 13% of the total suspensions.

Furthermore, the ARPCF is particularly alarmed by the Board's apparent indifference to escalating cases of discrimination and the dissemination of biased, anti-Palestinian propaganda within its schools. The board's long-standing discriminatory actions against multiple racialized groups include a lack of transparency in the formation of the committee that addresses racial disparities in suspensions and expulsions. This systemic, unaddressed situation has culminated in practices that excuse racism against pro-Palestinian voices in the board region. Such actions by the PDSB not only severely impact the psychological and educational well-being of the students but also contradict the Board’s own Anti-Racism Policy. By ignoring the genuine concerns of these communities, the PDSB is failing in its duty to provide a safe and equitable educational environment.

The APRCF calls the PDSB to take immediate action to implement the CPMES’s demands and take accountability to end APR in the Board’s institutions. It is imperative that the Board recognize the severity of these issues and take decisive steps to rectify these injustices. This includes reinstating Nakba Day on the “days of significance” calendar, conducting thorough anti-racist training for all school administrators, forming transparent and unbiased anti-racism committees, and ensuring that the school environment respects and reflects the diverse histories and realities of all its students. Only through such measures can trust be restored and a truly inclusive educational system be successfully established within the PDSB.

About the ARPCF – The mandate of the Anti-Racism Program of the CJPME Foundation (ARPCF) is to create public awareness about racism in Canada.  This mandate falls in line with the Foundation’s broader purpose of monitoring and combating manifestations of racism, xenophobia, and discrimination by increasing public awareness of such biases.

For more information, please contact Jamila Ewais, 514-389-8668
ARPCF, [email protected]

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  • Jamila Ewais
    published this page in Statements 2024-05-27 10:54:41 -0400