Toronto, CA – As schools are reopening in the Greater Toronto Area, Black parents are having ‘the talk’ with their young children about systemic racism and discrimination as early as age four.
Through her online Toronto-based ‘Black Moms Connection’ group, Tanya Hayles brings mothers together as they share tips and stories on their parenting journeys, and some members are concerned about how to approach the topics of racial injustice and police brutality early enough with their children.
In an interview with the Globe and Mail, the founder of the group says she plans on being more open with her seven-year-old son who may be the only Black student in his school.
Hayles adds that “It’s up to parents to ensure their kids are exposed to other cultures including through the types of books they read, the movies they watch or the friends they have”.
She believes conversations need to happen to compensate for schools and their lack of anti-Black racism education, especially within the Toronto-area Peel District School Board which has dealt with systemic racism accusations in the past.
In June of this year, a supervisor was appointed by the Ontario Education Minister following one of two reports that shows that “ while Black students make up 10.2 percent of the secondary school population, they account for about 22.5 percent of students receiving suspensions.”
Hayles is concerned about her son being targeted at school or by police officers, and she says “the talk will focus heavily on the need to answer questions respectfully and know his rights”.
Tanya Hayles is an award-winning event planner, talented writer and public speaker, and creative storyteller. She and her Black Moms Connections group can be found at tanyahayles.com, blackmomsconnection.com, or on Facebook and Instagram at @BlackMomsConnection.
Email: [email protected]