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Ottawa public school board votes to create Jewish Equity Coach position

An advisory council is discussing stopping the playing of the national anthem at OCDSB schools (Colton Praill/CTV News Ottawa) An advisory council is discussing stopping the playing of the national anthem at OCDSB schools (Colton Praill/CTV News Ottawa)
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Ottawa's public school board is one-step closer to creating a Jewish Equity Coach to help educate staff and students about antisemitism.

Trustees with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board unanimously supported a motion from Trustee Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth to create the position of a Jewish Equity Coach.

"The rise in antisemitism is frightening, and it does not bode well for any equity seeking group," Kaplan-Myrth said Tuesday night.

Trustees voted to support the creation of the new position as Ottawa police say they are aware of hate, including antisemitic incidents, at local schools. Police say since the start of 2022, officers have received 35 reports of hate incidents in schools.

Last week, two students were charged with hate crimes following an antisemitic incident at Sir Robert Borden High School on Dec. 1.

Rise Up Ottawa presented a petition signed by 1,000 people to support the creation of the Jewish Equity Coach within the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.

"It's an important first step as part of a holistic plan to combat antisemitism, and, in fact, hatred of all kinds," Andrea Freedman of the Jewish Federation of Ottawa said.

"At this time, when there's been such a steep rise in antisemitic incidents, it seems timely," Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton said.

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board will vote to confirm the creation of the Jewish Equity Coach position at its next meeting.

With files from CTV News Ottawa's Shaun Vardon

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