Letter to Students, Families & Staff

June 7, 2024

Incident at T.A. Blakelock HS 

Dear students, parents/guardians and staff of T.A. Blakelock HS,

We are writing to inform you about an incident that took place today at our school that is being shared on social media. 

In a video, a staff member is seen speaking to students who were not in class, asking them to head back to class or go home. Also in the video, the staff member makes reference to a student wearing a necklace depicting a map overlaid with the Palestinian flag. The staff member then repeats to the students who were not in class to either head back to class or go home. In a separate recording, this message was reiterated by another staff member. We want to assure you that these incidents are under review.

Across the Halton District School Board, we understand educators and administrators are addressing issues where students are looking to affirm their identity in what they choose to wear. We fully recognize this is creating confusion on whether or not it is a form of erasure or a form of racism or discrimination, and what harm, even unintentional, is taking place as a result of this confusion. 

The Halton District School Board recognizes that we have more work to do, as individuals, as a school and as an organization. We are committed to doing so.

We seek to affirm the identities of all students and build a community free from discrimination in all its forms. We know that without knowledge, understanding, skills and tools, words and actions can easily become harmful. 

Please view the following video from Amy Collard, Chair, and Curtis Ennis, Director of Education, for the Halton District School Board speaking on this issue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWlBlip_cuE 

Students who wish to talk about how they are feeling or who are in need of support are encouraged to speak, at any time, with a trusted adult including a Teacher, Educational Assistant, Social Worker or School Administration. Further resources are provided below. Staff are encouraged to contact the Employee Family Assistance Program (EFAP) for support. 

If anyone has any questions or concerns about this incident, please contact us. 

Thank you for your partnership in helping make T.A. Blakelock HS a safe space for all students. 


Paul Dawson


Eleanor McIntosh

Superintendent of Education 

Community Resources and Support