Halton Public Secondary school students invited to take part in focus groups on racism.

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 26th, 2021



Halton District School Board Secondary students area invited to participate in focus groups to gather insight into HDSB’s response to racism.

The Halton District School Board will be conducting virtual focus groups with secondary students (Grade 9-12) during the month of June to gather student insight into the Board’s current response to racism in schools.

BLM march June

Thousands of students marched to city hall and took part in a peaceful demonstration in June of 2020

Gathering this information supports the Board’s ongoing accountability to its equity goals, as outlined in the 2020-2024 Multi-Year Plan and the Human Rights Equity Action & Accountability Plan: The Way Forward. The focus groups will be hosted virtually across each of the four municipalities in Halton.

Halton students have been active participants in the movement to remove racism from the community.  While the Black Lives Matter march on Burlington city hall was very successful – there have nevertheless been racial incidents that the larger community will not tolerate.

Curtis Ennis Dir Of Ed

Curtis Ennis, newly appointed Director of Education for the Halton District School Board

The newly appointed Director of Education for the Halton District School Board is a man of colour with a strong record of working with communities to end racism. Curtis Ennis will join the Board soon and be in place for the start of the new school year in September. He leaves the Toronto District School Board as the interim Associate Director, Equity, Well-Being and School Improvement.

Interested secondary students must complete the ‘Student Insight Conversations on HDSB’s Response to Racism’ Registration Form by Monday, May 31 at 4 p.m. Participation is voluntary. Registration form is HERE

“As a Board we are invested in learning more about how well students feel we have responded to incidents of racism in our schools,” says Rob Eatough, Superintendent of Education with responsibility for Equity. “The information and insights received will be reviewed over the summer and a report will be developed with recommendations to guide and inform a plan of action and enhanced accountability beginning in the fall.”

The virtual focus groups will take place between 1 – 3 p.m. or 4 – 6 p.m. on the following dates:
• Oakville: Wednesday, June 2
• Halton Hills: Monday, June 7
• Milton: Wednesday, June 9
• Burlington: Thursday, June 10

The focus groups will be facilitated by HDSB staff in the Equity and Research departments.

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4 comments to Halton Public Secondary school students invited to take part in focus groups on racism.

  • Susan Corrigan

    The catholic school board by not flying the pride flag clearly indicates they are part of the problem.

    • Phillip Wooster

      Was this a case of racism? Or just another parent putting pressure on teachers and the school to raise marks for university admission? In case you aren’t aware, this is an all-too-common strategy employed by many parents whose children are applying for high demand programs at university.

      You should be aware that Halton’s most demanding academic program in high school, the International Baccalaureate, has primarily (over 90%) enrolment by new Canadians, mostly from south and east Asia. I don’t see these students crying racism. And I’d love to see a list of the top 10 graduates of each high school–I’m willing to bet that most of these students are new Canadians as well. This data isn’t screaming racism to me.

  • Blair Smith

    Hopefully Mr. Ennis will also introduce a more balanced perspective on an issue of prejudice that has consumed us for far too long without effective resolution. And I trust that his leadership will involve both common sense and a resistance to the stridency of the politically correct and socially tone deaf.

    My granddaughter is in Grade 6 and the following book was part of her curriculum. Parenthetically, she didn’t actually have to read it, it was read to her through pre-recorded video sessions.


    It records the spiritual odyssey of a black child mistakenly shot and killed by police. It introduces the topic of historic, systemic racism within a very simple and sensational context. It is, in my opinion, entirely inappropriate. My granddaughter’s parents are both well respected police officers. They made sure that they had reviewed the book prior and were in a position to discuss it. They also carefully explained the difference between American and Canadian policing.

    I would like to know who sets the curriculum and, in particular, how much latitude is given to each individual School Board in the selection of material.