A nonprofit group called Parents of Black Children (PoBC) has launched a racism reporting tool that allows teachers and school staff members to anonymously detail incidents they feel were inappropriately dealt with or unfairly targeted Black students.
Launched this week in schools across Canada, the online tool was prompted by Ontario education officials last year claiming they could not keep accurate data on anti-Black incidents of racism in schools. The group aimed to create an anonymous platform through which to record such incidents—ranging from student-on-student bullying to unfair staff hiring practices—directly from staff members inside the schools themselves. The PoBC said they plan to release the anonymized stories publicly, adding they are glad to be operating outside of school board bureaucracy.
“Despite years of reports, committees and recommendations, school boards are saying that they are unable to properly track incidents of anti-Black racism,” said Kearie Daniel, a PoBC founding board member, during a virtual press conference Tuesday. “This tool is a game changer for educators, school administrators, caretakers, anyone working within the school or classroom who has ever seen something they knew was wrong and felt that they had nowhere to turn to record it.”
The “School Racism Reporting Tool” prompts users to select which specific school board they are reporting. Users are asked to identify what race they identify with and their role in the school, with positions ranging from teacher to principal to board employee. Users then must choose from a series of situations which best describe what type of anti-Black incident they are reporting.
“Racist bullying between students that is not being appropriately dealt with,” reads one option. “Disproportionate discipline directed towards Black students by a principal” and “Myself or a colleague being denied a promotion, hiring, movement, or career advancement due to advocacy against anti-Black racism” were two others. A box at the bottom allows users to type out their own specific situation.
The tool finally asks if users have already reported the incident to either the local school board or union, and if not, to explain why they felt they couldn’t go to those groups with their problem. One pre-written explanation reads, “I didn’t report because I don’t believe the board has sufficient knowledge of anti-Black racism to respond appropriately.”
PoBC has put together several “Black students matter” events and frequently defends Black Canadian students on social media when allegations of racist incidents occur at schools across the country.
“We know that schools are not a safe place for Black students or Black staff. However, Ontario school boards claim they are unable to properly track complaints of anti-Black racism. So we’ll do it for them,” reads the announcement posted to the nonprofit’s website.
Newsweek reached out to PoBC and Ontario school officials for additional remarks about the tool on Tuesday afternoon.
A group called Parents of Black Children (PoBC) launched a racism reporting tool that allows teachers and school staff members across Canada to anonymously detail incidents they feel are inappropriately dealt with or unfairly target Black students. Screenshot: YouTube | Parents of Black Children