Students and parents in Toronto took the issue of race and education into their own hands when they staged a Black Lives Matter protest Monday.
Students, faculty and staff alike from multiple schools took part in an universal walk-out in the Canadian capital. Several things led to the demonstration, among them a six-year-old black girl being handcuffed in her school by two officers last September.
The girl allegedly punched a staff member and assaulted many of her fellow students; CityNews reported that the officers stated they handcuffed her for "her safety."
The child's mother doesn't buy that, telling the agency ,"No six-year-old little girl deserves that." She has launched a lawsuit. The girl's lawyers say that the incident was nothing more than "anti-black racism … and what’s particularly jarring to our moral conscience right now is that this level of anti-black racism is moving from something that impacts teenagers and adults right down to a little black girl."
Many in Toronto agree; and adding fuel to the fire is a new York University study that shows that black students in Toronto are twice as likely as their white counterparts to be channeled into what are known as "applied," rather than academic, classes. Applied classes, it is believed, do not prepare students as well as academic courses for future success.
CityNews reported that at the march, one teacher said, "We will not continue to participate uncritically in an institution that habitually abuses black children. We’re demanding better for black children, now!" And a parent admitted that under current conditions, "I am terrified for my children each day."