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Canada's largest school board says it has moved away from reporting every hate- or racism-related incident to school communities because letters about such incidents could lead to further harm.Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

Canada’s largest school board says it has moved away from communicating every hate- or racism-related incident to school communities after finding that letters about the cases could lead to further harm.

The changes in the Toronto District School Board procedures drew attention recently after two parents raised concerns about how an elementary school handled reports of hateful graffiti on site.

The parents, who are school council co-chairs at McMurrich Junior Public School, say they were “disheartened” when they heard from their children last week about swastikas drawn in a girls bathroom at the school.

Rachel Cooper and Livy Jacobs say the school principal and superintendent didn’t send an e-mail to parents and other school community members about the incident, which they argue should have happened.

TDSB spokesman Ryan Bird says the board decided more than a year ago to reduce the frequency of distributing letters to school communities because the communications often led to the “identification, surveillance, and stigmatization of the specific students who may have been involved.”

He says the board also found that communication about such incidents also had the effect of prompting additional “copycat” incidents.

Bird says the board takes all the allegations of hate and racism “very seriously” and it investigates reports of such incidents.

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