Statement from the Director of Education on the St. Mary CSS Yearbook

Posted On Monday October 12, 2020
Statement on behalf of the Durham Catholic District School Board
I am deeply saddened by what has happened and extend my personal apologies to the individuals who have been harmed by the racist and malicious comments made. There is no place for such things in our schools. Racism and hatred hurts our whole community.

We will work with the school not only to ensure that the incident is fully investigated but also to support students and the community in rectifying the harm that has been done.
Tracy Barill
Director of Education
Letter from the principal to the St. Mary CSS community

October 11, 2020

Dear Students and Staff:

On Saturday, October 10, 2020, St. Mary CSS held a Diploma/Yearbook/Awards drive-thru pick up at the school. The traditional St. Mary Catholic Secondary School yearbook is intended to capture fond memories for students and staff. We are horrified to discover that inappropriate comments were unknowingly published in the 2019-2020 edition. These comments were malicious, hurtful and racist in nature. These comments are not a reflection of our mission, vision or values as a Catholic learning environment. We sincerely apologize to the school community for the offensive, hurtful and unacceptable nature of these comments.

We have launched a formal investigation, in collaboration with the Durham Regional Police Services, to ensure that all individuals responsible are held accountable. Those who produce offensive or disrespectful content will be subject to disciplinary action according to the Ontario Schools Code of Conduct and/or applicable policies of the Durham Catholic District School Board.

The first step in this process is to recall all yearbooks that have been distributed at this point. All students are asked to return their yearbooks to the school on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 directly to the office. Further direction will be provided in the coming days/weeks, and we ask for 100% cooperation from all students, parents/guardians and staff.

 A full inventory will be completed to ensure that every copy is accounted for.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Susan Duane