A statement from the Director of Education, Pat Daly, on our commitment to responding to racism and discrimination with Faith, Hope and Love.

On Sunday, a family was intentionally struck by a driver in his motor vehicle as they were walking along their neighbourhood in London, Ontario. They were targeted because of their Islamic faith. A young boy is the sole survivor; his mother, father, sister and grandmother were all killed. 

Our hearts are heavy as we process this senseless act of violence and hatred. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of the Islamic faith, for this painful resurfacing of the Islamophobia that exists in our communities. Incidents like this may heighten the feelings of fear, vulnerability and isolation. As a Catholic school district, we are called to accompany and love our brothers and sisters in the Muslim community. In times of crisis, it is especially critical that we stand together and support one another with care and compassion. 

While we cannot ease the pain, we can reaffirm our commitment to dismantling all forms of harassment and discrimination in our schools and in our communities. We cannot and will not tolerate, condone or ignore Islamophobia and racism. 

To the students, families and staff who are members of the Muslim community – you have our commitment that we will continue to ensure our Catholic schools are places where you feel a positive sense of belonging and know that you are valued, respected, accepted, and safe. 

Members of our HCDSB community who may need support in dealing with this traumatic event are encouraged to contact your school, who will put you in touch with our Compassionate Care and Crisis Response Team.

We hold close in our hearts the young boy who survived this violent attack, and his family members who did not. We pray for all in our community who have been devastated by this act of hatred. Let us be sources of peace, comfort and healing to one another as we work together to create a world that is free from Islamophobia and all forms of racism, discrimination and hatred.