A Durham District Faculty Board trustee has been found to be in violation of the trustee code of conduct over suggestions he made about white supremacy.
Trustees voted June 27 to hunt out Pickering trustee Paul Crawford accountable on three counts of violating the code. They voted to censure him and request that he full equity, selection and inclusion teaching.
The selection by trustees follows an investigation and report by the board’s integrity commissioner, which says Crawford’s suggestions “have been poorly conceived because of he carelessly dismissed of the realities confronted by many racialized of us all through the DDSB group.”
In October 2021 and January 2022, Crawford, who has been a trustee for larger than 20 years, made a group of suggestions as a result of the board’s governance and protection committee talked about a draft human rights protection.
His suggestions centered on the definition of “white supremacy” used inside the doc.
“I had obtained, from my constituents, issues in regards to the wording. And I too, had issues in regards to the wording,” talked about Crawford.
The definition utilized by the DDSB says white supremacy is “a racist ideology primarily based totally on the concept that white identification is the norm, regular and greatest” and encompasses a quote from the e-book “Is All people Really Equal? An Introduction to Key Concepts in Social Justice Education” that claims white supremacy “refers again to the pervasiveness, magnitude, and normalcy of white privilege, dominance, and assumed superiority in society.”
As an elected official, Crawford talked about he has the suitable to raise issues with out concern of penalties.
His suggestions on the Oct. 25 committee meeting included saying the definition “reverse(s) the racism on the white group” and that the definition is “insulting to white of us, in precise reality it’s insulting to anyone.”
On the Jan. 24 governance committee meeting, Crawford talked about the definition must be eradicated or rewritten.
“White supremacy has to return again out of there, each that or it have to be described in any other case,” he talked about, noting the definition “insults an enormous group because of the abhorrent actions of a small minority group, such as a result of the KKK .”
Whitby trustee Niki Lundquist and Oshawa trustee Darlene Forbes filed complaints with the board’s integrity commissioner about Crawford’s suggestions.
Lundquist’s criticism says the state of affairs is “not about free speech or debate” and that Crawford’s phrases “undermined confidence inside the board and they also identify into question the board’s dedication to integrity” and likewise “set off harm by denying the lived actuality of people who have expert systemic racism and oppression on account of privilege being afforded to people who do not come from equity in quest of groups.”
The criticism from Forbes says Crawford “used language and espoused racist components of view which could be damaging to the celebrity of the board and are counter to the equity and selection initiatives of the DDSB, and have been in all probability harmful to the students and employees of the DDSB. ”
Completely different trustees moreover voiced issues at a specific board meeting on June 27, along with scholar trustee Kayla Malcolm.
“Our board is constructed upon selection, equity and scholar well-being. Within the meantime … we have a trustee on the board who mainly goes in direction of each of these pillars. As a scholar of this board and a person of shade, I’m shocked that we’re allowing these suggestions,” Malcolm talked about.
Crawford recognized that Durham Catholic District Faculty Board trustees currently raised comparable issues in regards to the definition of white supremacy.
DCDSB trustees permitted a model new anti-racism protection this spring — nevertheless not sooner than some trustees and members of most people voiced issues about language inside the protection, suggesting that it mirrored essential race precept.
DCDSB trustees permitted an amended mannequin of the protection that eradicated many definitions altogether, along with white supremacy, colonialism, anti-Black racism, microaggression, reparation, intersectionality and restorative comply with.
The issue of free speech was addressed inside the integrity commissioner’s report about Crawford’s suggestions.
“It is clear how members of the group might need felt hurt by trustee Crawford’s suggestions; nonetheless, this need to be appropriately balanced in direction of a trustee’s functionality to freely participate in good faith debate and decision-making, which is the heart of their operate,” the report notes.
It says politicians have a considerable quantity of security by the use of “political speech” even when their phrases upset of us — nevertheless that trustees are additional restricted than politicians.
“A school board trustee’s governance operate simply is not foundationally about ‘giving voice’ to the opinions of themselves and others spherical them,” the report says.
Crawford now has the likelihood to make a written submission to the board in his safety — nonetheless he is not optimistic that it will change the end result.
“It needs to be just a bit robust to influence people who’ve already found me accountable, that I am not,” he talked about.