Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce speaks at Queen's Park in Toronto on June 9, 2020.

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

The Ontario government has appointed a supervisor to take over the Peel District School Board after the board failed to address its dysfunction and issues around systemic anti-Black racism.

Bruce Rodrigues, a former director of education at the Toronto Catholic school board and former deputy minister of education, will help get the board “back on track” and take action to “eliminate the practices and policies underpinning discrimination and inequities,” the province said on Monday.

“From day one, I said that if the [Peel board] does not act swiftly and completely to counter racism and positively change the culture within our schools, then the government will act,” Education Minister Stephen Lecce said in a statement. “For a generation, students have felt ignored, powerless and disrespected. This ends starting today.”

Story continues below advertisement

It is rare for the provincial government to take over school boards and strip elected trustees of their power. The Peel board took an unusual step last week and asked the government to send in a supervisor.

Brad MacDonald, the chair of the board, and director of education Peter Joshua issued a joint statement on Monday, saying it was their hope that the government’s help would “ensure all Black students and staff, and others we have marginalized and underserved, face a new and better reality when schools reopen in the new school year.”

More recently, Mr. Rodrigues was a member of an independent committee examining the social and cultural practices at St. Michael’s College School, a prestigious private school in Toronto rocked by allegations of sexual assault by students.

The Peel board, west of Toronto, has struggled with addressing issues of racism, particularly anti-Black racism. Parents, students and community members have attended board meetings and demanded action on racism in schools.

Trustees and senior staff have also been divided. Last year, the board’s associate director of instructional and equity support services filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario against the board and Mr. Joshua, alleging discrimination and harassment.

A team of government-appointed reviewers last year found concerns about racism and equity were being ignored by the school board. That prompted Mr. Lecce to issue 27 directives for the board to follow, with strict deadlines.

Among the directives, the board was to develop an anti-racism policy in consultation with the community and the Ontario Human Rights Commission. I was also supposed to conduct a performance review of the director relating to anti-Black racism, Islamophobia and other equity issues.

Story continues below advertisement

The board continued to struggle, and Mr. Lecce appointed an investigator, who found Peel was failing to comply with government directives.

Arleen Huggins, a lawyer and human-rights advocate, wrote in a report released earlier this month that the board of trustees and the director are “lacking both the ability and capacity, and perhaps even more importantly, the will” to take steps to address governance, equity and racism outlined in a provincial review conducted late last year.

At the time, Mr. Lecce said that he expected a plan from the board by June 22 outlining specific steps of action, or he would act.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies