It's week three of school for some kids in the city and there are already issues. Every year, students in elementary school receive agendas for their school year, but this year's planners for some schools under the York Region District School Board and Toronto District School Board are quickly being recalled. Both districts say the Toronto student planners will be replaced after it was decided they "perpetuate stereotypes."
In a statement from the Director of Education and Board Chair of the YRDSB, it's explained action was taken quickly by the board to address the issue.
"While we appreciate the intent of the cover was positive, we are grateful for the students who had the courage to come forward to resolve this matter," reads part of the statement.
Ryan Bird, a TDSB spokesperson, told Narcity: "The cover image, supplied by Laurentien/Aupel, features inappropriate cartoon depictions of students that perpetuate stereotypes and stigmatize children from racialized backgrounds. Two TDSB schools had used this particular cover. It is currently being recalled and will be reprinted at no cost to parents."
According to a Global News article, Holly Richards, principal of Elkhorn Public School in North York, says in a memo that even though it might not have been intentional to perpetuate stereotypes, the "impact is not consistent" with what they believe in at TDSB.
"I would like to apologize for any harm this may have created," Richards says.
A YRDSB spokesperson told Global that about 13 schools received the planners in question.
Global reached out to Laurentian/Aupel and was told this cover was an option for many years and actually had "no negative feedback." Among 50 other options for covers, the company says that the school itself actually picked it out.
But, until new agendas come in, the TDSB has instructed parents to give the planners to staff, who will remove the covers. The students will have to use old planners until new ones come in.
Narcity has also reached out to YRDSB and Laurentian/Aupel for comment.
This cover image has been used for illustrative purposes only.