New measures to achieve a discrimination-free classroom

New measures to achieve a discrimination-free classroom

By MPP  Toby Barrett

This July, the Ontario government announced bold changes to help break down barriers to success for black students.

Some of these changes include eliminating discretionary suspensions for Kindergarten to Grade 3; destreaming curricula starting with Grade 9 math; and providing anti-discrimination professional development for the education sector. The government will also be strengthening sanctions for teachers who engage in racist behavior.

For too long, too many students in Ontario have been left behind. No longer can we sit idol. We are laying a foundation to set up all students for success in the classroom and beyond.

And the foundation we are laying is built on, what I consider, Ontario’s proud history of breaking down racial barriers.

In 1850, Haldimand Norfolk native Egerton Ryerson – who would become known as Ontario’s Father of Education – acknowledged the need for equal schooling for blacks, realizing the prejudice of the times. His Separate School Act permitted any group of five black families to ask local public school trustees for such a school.

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