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Message From The Board Chair
Message From The Board Chair

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October 30, 2018

Recent news of the resignation and subsequent reconsideration of the resignation by trustee-elect for East Gwillimbury and Whitchurch-Stouffville, Elizabeth Terrell-Tracey, have resulted in several questions and concerns from our community.
 
I would like to take this opportunity to clarify York Region District School Board’s position and process on this matter. The Facebook comments we have seen, regardless of context, were xenophobic, racist and hurtful.
Our Board works to create safe, equitable and inclusive learning and working environments for all our students, their families and our staff. As I have said in the past, these comments are not reflective of York Region District School Board. York Region District School Board, its employees or current Trustees have no legal authority to deny a qualified person within the meaning of the Ontario Education Act and Municipal Elections Act from standing for election as a trustee of the Board. They also have no jurisdiction to approve or in any way be involved in a candidate's campaign.
The election of a trustee to a school board is a democratic process determined by the votes cast by qualified electors during an election conducted in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act. The Board has no jurisdiction or authority to force a duly elected Trustee to resign or be removed from office. The new Board of Trustees do not officially take office until the Board's organizational meeting occurs which is December 3, 2018 and a trustee swears a declaration as prescribed in the Education Act.
 
As a Board of Trustees, we have taken measures to hold ourselves accountable for our actions. We have introduced a Human Rights Commissioner’s Office and an Integrity Commissioner’s Office, both of which are accessible and available to members of the public. We have also committed to participating in training to understand our role and the importance of equity. The Trustee orientation process includes training on governance, Trustee Code of Conduct, human rights, equity, accessibility, and customer service and dispute resolution.
 
Our Board remains committed to championing equity and inclusivity and creating  spaces  where all our students, their families and our staff members feel that they can succeed in learning and working environments that are safe, welcoming  and inclusive.
If you continue to have questions or require clarification on Board policies or processes , please contact trustee.services@yrdsb.ca
 
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