Students in Ottawa’s largest school board report racial discrimination at school
About one in five students in Grades 7 to 12 at the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board say they have experienced racism or discrimination based on their ethnic background at school, according to a survey tabled for trustees on Monday.
Just under half of the board’s 75,000 students responded to the survey — older students answered questions themselves while parents replied on behalf of children in kindergarten to Grade 6.
Among older students, a total of 17.8 per cent of respondents said they had experienced “being stereotyped, prejudice or discrimination at school” because of their race. That includes 12.2 per cent who said it happened sometimes and 5.6 per cent who said it happened often.
The corresponding total reported by parents of the younger students was 5.8 per cent.
When it comes to stereotypes, prejudice or discrimination because of their ethnic background, a total of 21 per cent of those in Grades 7 to 12 said they encountered it sometimes or often at school. Among younger students, 8.1 per cent reported experiencing it sometimes or often.
The student identity survey asked more than a dozen questions on a variety of subjects ranging from ethnic origin and race to family income, sexual orientation and whether students felt safe at school.
It’s a fascinating portrait of students at Ottawa’s largest school board.
Substantial minorities of older students said they had also faced stereotyping, prejudice or discrimination either sometimes or often on various grounds — for example, as a result of their grades or achievement level (32.1 per cent); clothing (31 per cent); appearance (22 per cent); family income (15.1 per cent); or religion and faith (14.6 per cent).