Thank you for your thought provoking reporting on the recent developments at the Africentric Alternative School. As members of the parent community, we are especially proud that this groundbreaking school has achieved higher test scores than the entire province in less than the two years it has been in existence. More importantly, it has instilled a sense of pride in the students and fostered parental engagement, while demonstrating the tangible gains we can achieve as a community when we work together.
Ironically, there are a few dissenters looking to repeal all progress by actively working against the interests of the students. They have adamantly refused to air their perceived “concerns” with the Parents’ Council, instead forming a splinter group and insisting on interfacing directly with the board. They spread misinformation, false allegations and engage in baseless personal attacks against teachers, administration, parents and even students. However, thanks to vocal community and parental opposition, they have lost much of their steam and are now claiming to seek “mediation”, claiming their sole motivation was that the school was “not Africentric enough”. (Ironically, they ran to the Eurocentric Toronto Star with these claims.)
This becomes amusing when one considers that those making such claims know very little about Africentricity in the first place, have very little history of community building other than being disruptive and, most importantly, consistently exhibit behaviour that is anti-African in values. The old proverb reminds us that “the more a monkey climbs, the more he exposes himself”.
Although the actions of this group are well chronicled and contrary to established board policies and procedures, there has been little intervention by the TDSB leaving many to question if institutional support is applicable only for select communities.
We must fight complacency and defend hard-fought gains without compromise. The activist tradition referenced by Share is both paramount and necessary. Not only should we hold this small minority hell bent on sabotage accountable, but we should also demand that the TDSB deals appropriately and conclusively as they are mandated to do.
It is only when this happens that the teachers can go on with their mandate of teaching, and students can grow to their full potential.