Appendix A – Case Study on Racism at Upper Grand District School Board

They deleted this video from the original source. Thank goodness i backed it up. Your welcome @ugdsb! Here are my notes from when I watched with time index. 1:17:00 min is particularly interesting. It’s where they admit there is no evidence of racism across the board. 1:34::40 is the critical race theory discussion. 1:24:00 is where they discuss removing regulation 274 to hire people specifically for skin colour. Notes on this video:

Notes on this video:

1:40 – Share data that was collected that helped form those decisions


2:27 – here to talk about actions.


2:47 – action steps they’ve taken in the past and what is going on now


3:15 – importances of listening to all voices


3:20 – End all forms of racism

Only need to turn on tv to know exactly what she means.  – Note – no example here


CTV news cited – now is not the time to rest, now is the time to act.




Where we have been


4:40 – Land acknowledgement


7:31 – In 2019 finishing the 3 year equity plan. 


Professional development going through what the board offers for teachers and educators with various goals.


Anti homophobia training


Anti oppression training – new in 2019


10:02 – Poverty challenge experiential learning 2019 (what does experiential poverty training look like? Can we get materials from this training?)


10:30  – 200 culturally diverse books purchased after surveying schools in 2019


“Unlearn” poster pack purchased this year


**What is the approximate cost of the inclusion and equity office? What year was it founded at the UGDSB? All tolled with staffing and materials what is the yearly budget over the lifespan of this program (2012 == 300k, 2018 ==500k as example of cost changes over the years. Yearly total is what i’m interested in).


11:46 – expulsion rates and diversity data

When they looked they did not find data to support their mandate

Suspension / expulsion data – 2 schools looked at.  Looking for areas of concern around suspension or expulsion?  Did not yield findings that supported the mandate in formal sense. But continually assess the data.


14:00  Data collection from students did not have enough data collected to be viable to use to direct policy.\


Increasing parent and community engagement


  • Better communication between parents and communities


16:30 – knowledge keepers in classrooms

What are knowledge keepers? What is the goal of the program? What is the cost? What problem is it trying to solve? What percentage of the school board’s population is indiginous?


22:00 – Knowledge keeper math lesson. Can i have the handout for this and what the math lesson looked like? 


Indiginous staff education

26:00 – For teacher, admins and community.  


27:00 – questions


29:30 – Teach anti – oppression – shift in language from kindness and inclusive vs anti oppression.  Pushing action instead of being passively kind.


All lives matter being talked about as negative.


32 – Providing education and understanding for each of those groups. 


What the work looks like moving forward


33:00 – George floyd off the top


BLM march in guelph cited


34:35 – why are we talking about the people in the US. big list – do you have this list? Can you share this list? Why aren’t we talking about what is happening in our schools and our communities? Because we do not have the same history as the US as far as racism goes.


Wellington advertiser piece


Where we need to go



Bold statement pat on the back.


They didn’t recognize that by mandating all staff go to anti-racism and anti-oppression training you’re implying that all staff are racist oppressors. What did the union say about that?


New equity plan


Id and name bias oppression and racism

White privilege training from administrators. 

40:00 – Cleanliness and hygiene expectations are racist and oppressive? I worked as a youth care worker, i’m going to need info on this.


System oppression and gaps:

  • Safe spaces provided (prayer room, lgbtq, washrooms policy) – 42:30 – will you be looking at making change rooms or washrooms gender neutral? 

Build collaborative relationships 

Gay straight alliance


Community agencies

Experiential poverty training / challenges


47:00 – mandate training to make sure they’re not getting the same teachers over and over again.  


49:50 – 

Eliminate bias oppression and racism through disruption and action

  • End policy or practice that have been bad
  • Stop teachers calling students ‘boys and girls’
  • Dress code is sexist? 


51 – Action: ‘Driving action.

example: We’ve had complaints (how many to trigger a change)


51:38 – “Free use by all” washrooms. What are those? 


RFP movement – why can’t we have halal foods?


53:00 – accountability


54:09 – roles of

Anti black racism and black brilliance steering group from a variety of experience.  

Can you give examples of other groups meant to support racialized populations? Is a ‘white brilliance’ group proposed? If we’re going to be discussing skin colour so much is having a ‘white brilliance’ group worth exploring? If not why not? Are white students not falling through the cracks? What does the union say about this? 


55:06 – Gender inclusive washroom – anti stigma campaign. Abuse of that washroom by other students (says who? What data is she citing? How many complaints do you need before action is taken?)

57 – All people should be able to use the free use for all washroom. 


59 – PD for this


60 – halal, highlighting ?


60m – HR department how will we align compliance with employment law with these expectations?

  • Team of people will do this. That doesn’t address the question
  • Everyone is on board and we’re learning and training together. What if they’re not on board ?What if they have questions about need and cost? What if they have concerns about this direction? How tolerant of you are these voices?
  • Working with HR and finance department


62:00 – 93% of staff are white. 


64 – cultural food practices citing vegan and paleo, halal and kosher


65 – dress codes – policy reformed previous to this meeting, previous to the chair.

66 – policing those dress code practices can be seen as oppressive


67 – data and evidence that has informed the plan – what evidence? Specifically?



70 – class trip in grade 3. We go because we’ve always gone.  Isn’t that a tradition? Shouldn’t that tradition be respected as part of the school’s culture? 


Who does the trip include and not include? What is this evidence specifically? What did this evidence show? What policy change did it drive specifically?


Not one male voice on this call. Why is that? 81 min is first male voice.


72 — dress code should not be enforced. Some days you want to hide in your hoodie and you can’t.  

homeless students


73 – embedded racism in the dress code policy – what specifically is racist in the current policy? What was racist around the old policy? Please explain this more.


75 – ‘appropriate dress code’ is the name. is that name racist? 


77 – Do we have any data of any racism in our schools?
A little bit of anecdotal data from a survey. Not substantial data on racism.  Less than 5 (for what time line?).  

Next presentation look at ways to get that data. 


Stats of first language at home in the students in our schools

Yes they have these. Next week.  I would like these stats as well. 


81 – What steps to take in equity hiring. 

274 – mandated to follow. 


Developing role models for our students

83 – Need to see faces like theirs in front of them. We agree with that. 274 does not allow to hire for how someone looks for now.  From people who don’t look like me or don’t look like you. What data backs that up? What studies have been done that show having ‘faces that look like mine’ teaching is important? If this is true why was a desegregated classroom pushed for in the US? 


Who can change 274 – teachers union or province?


84 – Please describe what this board would change on regulation 274?


85 – Question answered now. Remove the seniority mandate at the government level.

10 years? It was implemented in 2012. It’s 2020.


90 -Next steps


Ask for input – rush to collect data before the end of june.


92 – grounded in critical race theory. Developed by lawyers. In education, but it was developed for law. The superintendent says its the same.  We understand race is a social construct, and because the systems were developed by people who are white they are inherently racist. Not talking about individual acts of racism. How to be an anti racist. 


Because the system is built by whites it is racist.

Nothing is neutral, you’re either explicitly anti – racist or it’s upholding white supremacy? 


What was our inclusion and equity policy based on before? Because assuming everything not actively anti-racist is actively supporting white supremaccy is a racist point to base any policy on. 


What does ‘we understand race is a social construct’ mean? In what way is race a social construct? How does that help move us toward the goal of zero racism?


If the stated goal is reduction of racism within the board how does critical race theory meet that goal if it casts all interactions that are NOT supporting anti-racism as actively supporting white supremacy? Isn’t that injecting race into situations where race has no place at all? Isn’t this approach exacerbating the problem?


93:30 – May not see individual acts of racism. 


94 – explicitly anti-racist or it’s upholding white supremacy


95 – 18 month cycle of blended learning


97 – anti racism policy

Umbrella policy would include all of these policies under it.


99 – Priorities by end of august and beginning cycle by september


100 – What we need from you


Support from the viewers