Allegations of racism and oppression within the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) has sparked a third-party code of conduct investigation, according to the institution’s chair and secretary of the board.

The release comes in answer to a thread of tweets from student trustee Ahona Mehdi made on Saturday as her term ended with the HWDSB.

Read more:
Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board terminates Hamilton police school liaison program

“The HWDSB is a disgustingly racist and oppressive institution that serves the interest, success & well-being of white, straight, able-bodied, cis-gender staff & students,” Mehdi said in one post.

“I’m beyond disturbed to have attended HWDSB schools for 14 years — but I’m ready to unlearn & call them out.”

Other accusations Mehdi made on Twitter included a claim she was shamed for not wearing a Christmas sweater to a board meeting, that a trustee insinuated Arabs/Muslims were evil, and that a trustee used the N-word in reference to Serena Williams.

Trending Stories

In response, HWDSB chair Alex Johnstone and secretary Manny Figueiredo issued a joint statement on Saturday night saying they found Mehdi’s concerns “deeply disturbing.”

Read more:
Hamilton school board reveals 3 reopening plans, hopes for full return in fall 2020

“As an educational institution, we are committed to taking action that builds a culture of equity and inclusion,” the statement said.

“We will immediately begin a third-party code of conduct investigation to understand and address all of the concerns raised.”

The release also promised anti-racism and anti-oppression training for elected officials and staff in the coming school year.

Mehdi’s comments come in the midst of HWDSB’s three-year Equity Action Plan seeking feedback for an anti-oppression framework through recognizing inequities in school systems and institutions.


(C) 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Leave a Reply