Toronto uproar over black school proposal

Feb. 6, 2008 at 1:13 PM
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TORONTO, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Toronto police were investigating Wednesday threats shouted at city school board members debating the creation of a school program for blacks.

At the raucous meeting Tuesday, the board voted 11-9 in favor of creating the province's first publicly funded "Africentric" school, the Toronto Sun reported.

One of the members who voted against the plan, Stephnie Payne, is black, and was heckled from the public seats, the Toronto Star reported. One person shouted Payne had been "whitewashed," and another yelled she "should be shot" for turning her back on her own community.

The board commissioned a study on the $820,000 project due for review in May, although provincial Premier Dalton McGuinty said the Ontario government wouldn't fund it, the National Post said.

Meanwhile, school board Chairman John Campbell told the Star the media hadn't reported the issue fairly.

"It could be an alternative school within an existing school," said Campbell. "The board didn't say it had to be a separate school and there was nothing in the motion about a stand-alone nature," he said.

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