Toronto (February 12, 2021) - Toronto schools experienced an almost 400 per cent increase in hate incidents last year, according to a just-released Toronto District School Board (TDSB) report.
TDSB's Human Rights Annual Report reveals 312 hate activity reports were filed in the 2019-2020 school year, up from 64 reports filed in the previous school year. Antisemitic incidents doubled, increasing from 15 to 31 reported incidents, while anti-Black racism increased almost five-fold and accounted for the majority of incidents. Islamophobic and homophobic incidents also increased.
"The report’s findings are very concerning and confirm the enduring and urgent need for schools to incorporate education that addresses racism, antisemitism and all forms of hate," said Michael Levitt, president and CEO of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC). "Young people must learn the history and dangers of hate in order to better understand the importance of countering this problem in their own communities."
"We commend the TDSB for executing such important research and data collection in their effort to combat hatred and crafting an impactful and appropriate response to the specific issues at play in Toronto schools. We look forward to continuing our education and training programs with TDSB staff and students," Levitt added.
This report comes after the TDSB unanimously passed a motion last year calling on the Ministry of Education to make genocide education compulsory learning in Ontario schools.
Through its numerous daily educational and training programs that teach about the Holocaust and other genocides, dangers of hate and importance of upholding human rights, FSWC inspires students, educators and others to raise their voices against hate and intolerance and stand up for justice and human rights.