Acknowledging the Middle East conflict

Acknowledging the impact of the Middle East conflict
Posted on 11/07/2023

Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board is committed to ensuring that all staff and students are seen, heard and welcomed as they are, so that they can thrive and belong. This is the vision of the HPEDSB Equity Action Plan.

Given current events, we recognize that members of our communities who identify as Jewish, Muslim, Israeli and Palestinian may be grieving and continue to be particularly vulnerable to incidents of hate. Together, we will remain vigilant in using our existing reporting structures to address any incidents that may arise. Students and staff in our school communities have witnessed this violence unfold in the news and should be met with compassion and care.

Discrimination and harassment based on creed is wrong and detrimental, and is also a violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code. Members of the HPEDSB community remain committed to creating safe and inclusive spaces for all students, families and staff, especially for those most marginalized.

We recognize that there may be concerns within the HPEDSB community about the potential risk of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic acts of hate in HPEDSB schools and workplaces. As always, the safety of all students and staff is of paramount importance to us. Hate and violence of any form will not be tolerated.

Any concerns of discrimination may be raised directly with school administrators as the first point of contact. Procedure 380: Dealing with Violent Incidents categorizes hate-motivated occurrences as violent incidents. Procedure 378: Progressive Discipline and Positive Student Behaviour requires that hate-motivated occurrences are reported through the Safe Schools Reporting procedure.

We understand these events may cause a variety of reactions, emotions and responses among staff, students and families. It is important to be aware that staff and students may express their feelings in a variety of ways.

This article from School Mental Health Ontario is about having supportive conversations with children and youth about world events. 

Parents/caregivers: If you have questions or would like assistance through the school, please get in touch with your child's teacher.