“The teacher said nothing”: Black girls on the prevalence of Anti-Black racism in Greater Toronto Area (GTA) schools
Keywords:Anti-Black racism, Ontario high schools, Black students, Education policy, Achievement
Anti-Black racism is a pervasive and ongoing issue, which continues to impact the experiences of Black students in Canada. Several Ontario school boards have specific policies on equity and diversity education, which include addressing curriculum and pedagogical approaches, to support anti-racism initiatives, and inclusion within school communities. Still, Black students continue to be stigmatized as their academic achievement is measured against students who do not have to contend with anti-Black racism. A number of education scholars have, for decades, been focused on collecting data to detail the inequitable treatment of Black students. Meanwhile, school boards continue to create discriminatory and punitive policies such as the now repealed Safe School Act (SSA), or academic level streaming, which continue to adversely impact Black students. This article uses the narrative data from taken from a larger study, which centres the voices Black girls living in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), to advance their opinions on experiences and the anti-Black racism they witness in schools. Based on the consistent accounts of anti-Black racism in the GTA schools the participants attended, this article argues that Ontario school systems must first address and take responsibility for the rampant anti-Black racism that continues to soil the schooling experiences of Black students, before they can fairly report on student achievement and disparities revealed in the Black student outcomes.