Montreal

Lester B. Pearson School Board promises immediate action on racism

Speaking at a West Island rally against racism, the chair of Lester B. Pearson School Board promised immediate action in light of several racist incidents involving students.

Board will launch anti-racism task force, composed of staff, students and people of colour

Noel Burke, chair of the Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB), said action will be taken to fight racism immediately. (CBC)

Speaking at a West Island rally against racism, the chair of Lester B. Pearson School Board promised immediate action in light of several racist incidents involving students.

"These incidents were a wake up call for us and a call to action," said board chair Noel Burke.

Burke spoke to the assembled crowd of young people and community members, saying that the school board would immediately form an anti-racism task force, composed of staff, students and people of colour.

He said the task force's first report will be ready by Sept 1.

Burke said the Quebec English School Board Association, of which he is a member, will be calling on the Education Ministry to do a curriculum review in order to better represent diversity in all subjects, not just history.

"The Lester B. Pearson School Board acknowledges that systemic racism exists in society, in our communities and in our schools," said Burke.

"We must take an active role with addressing racism with students and staff."

More than a hundred people attended the rally outside Pierrefonds Community High School on Saturday afternoon. (Sarah Leavitt/CBC)

More than 100 people attended the rally outside Pierrefonds Community High School on Saturday afternoon.

The event was organized by Youth Stars, a Montreal non-profit organization serving youth. They said it was a chance for young people to speak out about racism and what changes they want to see.

Malik Shaheed, a director at Youth Stars, spoke to the crowd, saying: "The goal of today's event is for you to meet your local stakeholders. To let them know how you feel."

With files from Sarah Leavitt

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