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Anti-racism and anti-colonialism must be embedded into all subjects at all levels of education

July 16, 2021

TORONTO, ON – Following the Ontario government’s decision to remove anti-racist and anti-colonial language from the Grade 9 math curriculum without any consultation with educators, ETFO reiterated its position that anti-racist and anti-colonial work must be done in all areas of the Ontario curriculum.

“We are seeing a dramatic rise in hate incidents in our province which makes it clear that there must be anti-racist information in all aspects of education,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “For the Premier to say anti-racism should be excluded from any part of the curriculum is irresponsible. If we are to combat white supremacy and create an Ontario where everyone is safe, we need to keep the discussion open at all times.”

“This is another example of the Ontario Conservatives ignoring experts while making secret decisions that are not in the best interest of students, and without giving parents and communities any say,” said Hammond. “Ontarians deserve the best educational materials founded on research and expertise, not the whims of a government that clearly does not understand what anti-racist education is or should be.” 

“Students look to educators as examples,” said Hammond, “so removing the introductory language that encourages using an anti-colonial, anti-racist approach robs them of a valuable opportunity to look at the history, social constructs, and the supposed neutrality of ideas whether they are in mathematics or other topics.”

“Recognizing that all topics are mediated through cultural biases and critically examining those ideas can only benefit the students of Ontario,” said Hammond. “As elementary educators we are working to build equity. That work must not stop in any school subject at any level.”

ETFO represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province. Its Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at

For more information, contact Meagan Perry at 416-435-9234 or