Call to Action: Trustee Talbot Should Resign Immediately
Please complete the form below to send the following letter of concern to the SCDSB trustees, board of directors, director of education, the ministry of education, as well as our local provincial and federal representatives. Tonight we want to flood them with emails calling for the resignation of Trustee Talbot…
As a concerned community member, I am writing in support of Parents Against Racism Simcoe County (PARSC) to DEMAND that Trustee Talbot resign from his elected position of Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) trustee.
In the short time since he has started as trustee in October 2022, the behaviour displayed by Trustee Talbot has violated the code of conduct multiple times.
On November 30th, Trustee Talbot stated that PARSC was making an “accusation” in regard to no action being taken and therefore upholding systemic racism. May we share with you the definition of systemic discrimination by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC), “systemic discrimination can be described as patterns of behaviour, policies or practices that are part of the structures of an organization, and which create or perpetuate disadvantage for racialized persons.” Trustee Talbot’s behaviour is exactly what allows for system racism to remain, and therefore continues to harm racialized students. As per the SCDSB Code of Conduct 3.1 states, trustees are to inspire public confidence in their abilities; based on his outburst mentioned above he has failed. OHRC notes, “it is not acceptable from a human rights perspective for an organization to choose to remain unaware of systemic discrimination or to fail to act when a problem comes to its attention, “PARSC has pointed out specific concerns at multiple delegations the systemic racism that the racialized community experiences in Simcoe County.
On December 21st, 2022 Trustee Talbot’s response to PARSC’s delegation on sharing of a letter of support by the Human Rights Commissioner that highlighted the importance of PARSC Facts 4 Impact Report was, “I’m ignorant, I’m new, so please bear with me, but PARSC, are you elected officials? Do you have representation? Do you have bylaws? Are you just a pressure group? I don’t understand where you’re coming from and the authorization for whom you speak.” Not only was the comment problematic, the tone and cadence shouted racist and sexist. As per the Code of Conduct 3.6, trustees are to serve the school board to meet the educational needs of all students, that includes Indigenous, Black and racialized students. How does this line of questioning show motivation to support the most marginalized students, it certainly is not behaviour that upholds the integrity of the board of trustees, or is respectful of the lived experience of racialized community or considered “civil behaviour” as outlined in the SCDSB Code of Conduct 6.1-6.6.
Trustee Talbot’s harmful behaviour continued into the last delegation on January 18th, 2023 when Trustee Talbot can be seen on video on his phone, rummaging through his bag and on his computer during the delegation; not once did he appear to give his attention to the speaker. A young Black women and former student of SCDSB who was brave enough to share her horrific experiences with anti-Black racism. How many SCDSB Code of Conduct violations does Trustee Talbot have to violate before he is removed? Why are SCDSB trustees not calling for his resignation and denouncing his behaviour and conduct violations?
We do not need to wait until Trustee Talbot utters the N-word as a former trustee did in York Region in 2016 to call for his resignation. There is enough already, we have seen other school boards trustees call for the resignation of a fellow trustee such as in Hamilton School Board in March 2021, when a trustee violated the code of conduct by displaying poor behaviour and harmful remarks during meetings.
It is clear, given Trustee Talbots response to a local reporter, “It’s not worthy of a comment. There’s no basis of it. Quote that in its entirety,” when he was question about his conduct during board meetings, that he zero care to self reflect, learn, unlearn, and do that work required to support racialized students. No amount of training is going to have an impact when it is clear, Trustee Talbot does not care about racialized children.
This letter is in support of PARSC’s demand that Trustee Talbot resign effective immediately.