Ontario fires Peel school board's director of education in bid to confront systemic racism
The school board 'clearly required some change,' education minister says
The provincial government has fired the Peel District School Board's director of education amid mounting allegations of anti-Black racism and other forms of discrimination within the organization.
Peter Joshua had overseen the PDSB through a tumultuous several months, including a damning report commissioned by Ontario's Ministry of Education last fall.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce confirmed on Tuesday that Joshua had been removed from his position.
"Clearly this board required some change," Lecce said.
"It was clear, in successive reports, that not enough was being done. That these children continued to feel victimized within their schools."
Lecce said that in addition to anti-Black racism, the board also has problems with Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and anti-gay discrimination.
Lecce also said on Tuesday that he is directing the board to cease litigation against Twitter users who had been chastizing the board over its record on anti-Black racism. The PDSB had called those allegations "defamatory" when it announced plans to fight the claims in court.
Ontario named former Deputy Minister of Education Bruce Rodrigues as the board's new supervisor on Monday.
The PDSB said Rodrigues will name an interim director of education "in the days ahead."
Previous third party investigations have found that Black students, who make up about 10 per cent of the student body, account for more than 20 per cent of all suspensions in Peel.