OCDSB Statement on the Protest in Ottawa

Statement on the Protest in Ottawa
Posted on 02/04/2022
Statement on the Protest in Ottawa

This has been a very difficult week in our city, especially for those living and attending schools in the downtown core who have experienced significant disruption and disturbance.  The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board acknowledges the impact of that disruption. We know that travel to and from school and work has been difficult for some and that many of you have had direct and indirect experiences with noise, harassment, intimidation and an increasing sense of vulnerability.

We are concerned about the many reports of racist, homophobic and oppressive behaviours. We stand with all members of our community in respect of dignity and human rights.  We recognize that some members of our community feel at heightened risk, especially Indigenous, racialized, minoritized, and disabled persons and members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.  If you are in need of support, a list of available resources and support is included below.

The school district has been closely monitoring this situation and has been in regular contact with the Ottawa Police Service.  Some have asked about the decision to keep schools open. We know that maintaining a regular routine is important for student learning and well-being, especially during times of stress.  While the situation outside the school is upsetting, inside the school our staff and students have benefited from the familiar routine and focus on learning. We appreciate the efforts of our staff to maintain a safe and caring learning environment in the face of adversity. Our students have already experienced significant disruption and the high levels of student attendance this week are indicative of the importance of schools being open.  We will continue to provide regular learning opportunities as long as it is safe to do so.  

 There have been reports on social media of vandalism and illegal entry into some of our buildings, particularly 440 Albert Street. These reports are unfounded. 

This morning, Ottawa Police have advised that the community can expect more disruption over the weekend.  We will continue to closely monitor the situation and will provide an update over the weekend if it is necessary to plan for any school closures.

We respect the right to protest and the right to freedom of expression. However, we remain concerned for the safety, dignity and human rights of all members of our community. We advocate for the safety and well-being of our students, families and staff.  They need to be able to access their schools safely, free of worry and fear.  The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board supports the call for a swift and peaceful end to this protest.

Camille Williams-Taylor                                                                      Lynn Scott
Director of Education                                                                          Chair of the Board of Trustees


RESOURCES AND SUPPORTS

Youth Services Bureau
Crisis Line: 613-260-2360 or 1-877-377-7775 (Eastern Ontario)

Support Line for African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) Communities
Phone: 343-571-0097

Distress Centre of Ottawa
Phone: 613-238-3311 (24/7)
Text: 343-306-5550

Kids Help Phone
1-800-668-6868

Counselling Connect

First Nations and Inuit Hope and Wellness Helpline
1-855-242-3310

LGBTQ Youthline
1-800-268-9688

Centretown Community Health Centre LGBT2SQ+ Walk-in Counselling Clinic on Wednesdays Email for hours and info: [email protected]
Trans LifeLine
  24 Hr Crisis Line: 1-877-330-6366

Additional Resources can be found here.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2022 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.