Please see the following message taken from words shared by our Director of Education, Louise Sirisko, regarding this week’s verdict in Minneapolis.
Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three charges against him for the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died in police custody last May. While many have expressed feelings of relief at seeing Chauvin held accountable for his actions, it is important that we recognize the deep, profound and painful effect anti-Black racism has and that many individuals in our community may be experiencing a range of emotions at this time. It is also important that we acknowledge the toll that anti-racism work can take and that we provide space and support to the members of our York Region District School Board family and community.
While this incident took place in the United States, the reality is that anti-Black racism continues to cause harm in Canada and in our own schools. This is not acceptable, and we will continue to stand together against anti-Black racism and all forms of hate and oppression. It is important to support our staff, students and families during this painful time. Please see the list below for supports that can be accessed by Black students and families in our community.
List of Culturally Responsive Mental Health Services for Students and Families
1) TAIBU Community Health Centre
Taibu provides intersectional, equity-based and culturally affirming practices for YRDSB students who self-identify as Black.
- Clinic: 416-644-3536
- Individual Therapeutic Counselling for individuals and parents/families/caregivers. Referrals for individual counseling can be made via your school’s Social Worker or Psychology Services Professional.
2) Black Youth Helpline
- Call 416-285-9944
- Toll Free 1-833-294-8650
3) Harriet’s Youth Support Line
- 24-hour emergency / crisis response line: 1-877-695-2673
- Text messaging available for young people who do not feel like speaking to someone, but are still in need of help
Greg Farrell & Melanie Chamberland