Following an emotional public debate on the issue Tuesday night, Toronto District School Board trustees voted in favour of creating a black-focused public school: a school with a curriculum and teaching environment focused on black history and culture.
Twenty-two delegates spoke out on the idea of introducing a black-centred school in Toronto at the Toronto District School Board office on Yonge Street at Sheppard Avenue over two hours. Many parents of black students were present to voice their opinions on the idea of an all-black school in Toronto.
The mother of murdered teen Jordan Manners is one of those who wanted trustees to vote against the recommendation. "Martin Luther King and how many of our fathers fought to come together so blacks and whites could come together, for us to sit in the front of the bus together. I don't think that we should have a black shcool. It's not right," she said. "Let us all come together and be as one." She asked the Toronto community to teach our children to be one with all races, adding that black-focused schools would just bring segregation.
Angela Wilson, a resident in Rexdale area said young people learn in different places and need to have options. "It's not about segregation. It's about self-determination. And we can only have that when we are free to learn and free to think for ourselves," said Wilson.
Most of the delegates carried a mixed reaction on the idea of an all-black school throughout the debate.
- Shashi K. Raina, Toronto