NCCM welcomes apology of York school principal who shared anti-Muslim postings

-For Immediate Release-

(Ottawa – November 10, 2016) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent civil liberties & advocacy organization, welcomes the apology of a York District School Board principal who had shared anti-Muslim postings on social media.

Ghada Sadaka, a principal at the Sir Wilfred Laurier Public School in Markham, Ontario, and the school board, were criticized by parents and students at the school for failing to take responsibility for her actions, and for failing to follow the board’s own policy on how to deal with such complaints.

Earlier today, Director of Education, Jegan-Philip Parappally posted a message on the board’s website which included Sadaka’s statement:

“In the last two months, I have been the one who has learned a number of lessons about how sharing inappropriate posts on social media has affected those around me, my reputation and the reputation of one of the most diverse school boards in the country. I apologize for my actions and accept responsibility for ensuring that I learn from them,” reads part of her statement.

“Upon reflection, I accept that sharing the posts was discriminatory, and should not have occurred. I am committed to improving my understanding of human rights issues, and ensuring that I am more careful, respectful and aware of what I post and share on social media.”

Parents are cautiously welcoming the news.

“This is a good first step,” says Naeem Siddiqi, a parent who has been working with the NCCM on the issue on behalf of a group of concerned parents. “Families at the school are still waiting to hear directly from the principal and are seeking assurances that there will be an ongoing dialogue and trust-building efforts in the days and weeks ahead.”

“It’s critical that our schools remain safe and inclusive for all students and families,” says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee. “We are aware that there are other cases involving students of other faiths and backgrounds. It’s time to hear more from the school board about how it intends to address Islamophobia and anti-Black racism, and what concrete actions it will take going forward to restore trust and confidence.”

The NCCM frequently provides presentations on Islam and Islamophobia for educators in schools. In an effort to inform educators and prevent discrimination, the NCCM also distributes guides for educators on Islamic practices.

Related links:

Principal’s online posts on burkas, Islam lead education minister to step in
York school trustees demand ‘transparency’ on principal investigation
When schools are not safe places for all children
Denying Islamophobia won’t make it go away