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Statement from the Upper Grand DSB

November 12, 2023

At the Upper Grand District School Board, our hearts are with everyone affected by the ongoing events in the Middle East. Our thoughts continue to be with all those impacted and mourning the loss of life during the conflict. We acknowledge this is a particularly devastating time for UGDSB students, staff and families who are connected to the region. These students and communities need our support, understanding, compassion, and care. We know that members of our school communities may be experiencing feelings of concern and sadness.

As an education system, our role is to ensure that schools are places that are free of hate and where everyone can feel safe and included.

We want all students to know that they belong, they matter, and they are valued for who they are. Our teachers and staff are here to support every student’s well-being and learning. If students are feeling upset or scared, please talk to a teacher, a school counselor, or any adult in the school you trust. We have supports available to help students. 

With regards to the potential for student walkouts, the UGDSB strongly supports student voice.  This includes students expressing their viewpoint in a peaceful manner that does not include the destruction of property, the exposure of students and others to risks involving health and safety, and does not hinder the operation of our schools. We want to emphasize the importance of maintaining a respectful and inclusive environment during such events. There will be no tolerance for any form of discrimination, including but not limited to anti-Semitism, anti-Palestinian racism, and Islamophobia.

We recognize that some Upper Grand students may choose to participate in walkouts. All school administrators will follow age-appropriate procedures to monitor the situation and safety of our students, while respecting their desire to express their opinion.

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