Stop implementing the 'Task Force for Students of Somali Descent'
We are parents of Canadian children of Somali descent who find the idea of the proposed TDSB-funded 'Somali Task Force' extremely offensive and racist. We believe if such a program is implemented, an entire community that is already part of a marginalized group, will further be stigmatized and segregated from the mainstream Canadian community.
We believe our children are being used as guinea pigs in a social engineering experiment that will only benefit the men and women who form this so-called Task Force, and who will be funded to carry out this exercise at the expense of our children.
Many TDSB school trustees are backing this idea solely for their political and electoral ambitions, not our children's education. Somali Canadians want to integrate into Canada’s mainstream, not to segregate their children into ghettoized institutions where they are made to feel inferior and as victims of society.
The Task Force and its backers want to brand all children of Somali descent as collectively incapable of accomplishing what children from other communities aspire to reach their dreams. Members of the Task Force seem to believe that we the parents of children of Somali heritage are incapable of educating our children. We find this suggestion offensive and reflects the racism of lowered expectations that is flourishing in a climate of political correctness.
The vast majority of the targeted children of Somali ancestry were born and raised in Canada and should be treated as any other children born in Toronto.
As a result, TDSB should not be supporting an idea that would further brand a Canadian born child by their race, colour of their skin or the birthplace of their parents.
TDSB Superintendent Jim Spyropoulos has clearly admitted that the ‘special support’ he is advocating for will lead to ‘labelling’ of the children, yet he is a fervent advocate of setting up such a Task Force. Spyropoulos told the Toronto Star:
“[I]s there the potential that this (special support) can lead to labelling and affect students who are already marginalized? Yes — but we hope this plan is action-oriented enough to address that issue.”