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BY DAWN SAMUEL W


hen I think back to my elementary education, I can use some of the fingers on one of my hands to count the num-


ber of racialized teachers I encountered. If you asked me to count how many of those teach- ers were Black, that number would dwindle to one. Between Kindergarten and Grade 8, I only interacted with one educator who looked like me. Many Black adults who were born prior to the 90s and grew up in the GTA faced a reality similar to mine, or had an experience that was even more problematic. These adults are now the parents of some of the Black students in our classrooms. In addition to not having educators who


looked like them (or represented any racial diversity for that matter), these parents had to deal with many other challenging issues while they were in school. Historically, Black students received harsher discipline than other students, had to deal with the tolerance of rac- ist incidents in schools, were inappropriately streamed and did not see themselves in the curriculum that they were taught. These are the types of interactions that the parents of our


ELEMENTARY TEACHERS’ FEDERATION OF ONTARIO 15 E


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