Controversial idea largely backed by meeting audience

Some called it segregation, "the very thing Martin Luther King marched against," said retired teacher Winston Clement.



Others hailed African-centred schools as the hope for black teens — "that would give our kids a vision of their own history, it should have happened a long time ago," said mother Aldyth Frater.


This was one comment expressed last night at a meeting of approximately 100 parents and students at North Albion Collegiate on Kipling Avenue, the first grassroots gathering to consider the idea of opening an African-centred school in Toronto.

But one thing was clear: A healthy majority supported the concept.

Parents discussed the idea in groups of eight to 10, and most had at least some passionate support for the concept. "This is not a race issue, this is an education issue," said Michelle Tinker. "Often, white teachers don’t know how to relate to our children and they give up. Our children need to get a sense of their history; they need a sense of self."

gathering feedback

  • The meeting was one of two set up to gather feedback on the idea of an "African-centred alternative school" from junior kindergarten to Grade 8, possibly as soon as next fall, as a way to help students who may feel alienated and disengaged by mainstream schools.