Halton Catholic District School Board’s workshop for black parents postponed after many say he misses the mark

The Halton Catholic District School Board postponed a workshop for black parents after receiving negative reactions from several angles.

A one-hour workshop titled “Raising Resilient Black Children,” to teach black parents how to deal with and identify racial trauma, was scheduled to take place on Wednesday evening.

Several parents in the community said this was the wrong direction.

“Looks like they are saying, racism is here to stay, buckle up, we give you tools, you can go ahead and use those tools,” said Fidel Coutou, whose grandson of 10 years is an HCDSB. student. “I don’t think that as a community this should be happening.”

On Friday, days after the first email, the school board said it did not intend to single out black families, but received comments that the approach was for some “stigmatizing and hurtful. “.

The email also states that the comments “confirm that there is a desire and need for this specific type of support for black families in our community,” but that the board will reconsider the format, focus and will reschedule the event.

The HCDSB did not respond to the Star’s request for comment.

Coutou suggests that it should not be taught only to parents of black children, “I think if as a community we are trying to eradicate racism, what we should do is have an anti-racism seminar for all. community members, to identify unconscious bias.

And Kearie Daniel, co-founder of advocacy group Parents of Black Children, agrees the intent of the event seems out of place. Rather than focusing on helping black students carry the load, schools should create an anti-racist environment.

“Our children should be able to go to school without a resilience toolbox behind them. They should be able to have a peaceful education just like any other child, ”Daniel told The Star. “Why do they need to be superhuman? “

Although the board responded and postponed the event, Alex Power, a mother of two who attends HCDSB, said there are still many issues to be addressed.

“The fact that it could have passed so many eyes is still ludicrous,” Power told The Star.

She and other relatives founded Halton Parents for Change last April, when the board decided not to fly the pride flag in HCDSB schools. After an email spread about the Raising Resilient Black Children event, the group members wrote a letter to the council’s director of education.

Fidel Coutou was taken aback by an event hosted by his grandson's school board, the Halton Catholic District School Board.  Email sent home said he would give parents the tools to raise

The letter says it is a misstep to continue to blame black communities for responding to racism. “What we owe our black community, instead, is support,” the letter read. “We need administration and senior management, like you, to make anti-racism education a priority in our schools.

While Power has seen improvements and efforts to train teachers and improve equity issues as a school board over the past three years, she said there was continued dysfunction.

“Again, in this council we see the lack of insight and awareness. It’s just mind-blowing that they keep making these kinds of errors in judgment, ”said Power.

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