Dear OCSB Families,
As many of you may be aware, Mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency yesterday afternoon in response to the ongoing protests in the downtown core. I wanted you to know that we have not been directed by emergency services to close our schools due to the ongoing demonstrations. We are in constant contact with Ottawa Police Services on the status of the protest to ensure student and staff safety.
Though the OCSB does not have any schools in the affected area, we recognize this protest’s negative impacts on our staff, students and community partners who live in the downtown core and those experiencing delays to Ottawa from Gatineau. We will continue to advocate and pray for your safety and wellbeing. As a school board, we encourage all struggling to seek help.
If you are concerned about your child’s mental health, please seek assistance from their teacher or principal. The OCSB is here to help. We prioritize mental health and wellbeing through a range of classroom supports and professional board services. Our schools are a part of a circle of support for students, both in-person and virtually. Below you will find a list of community services that offer help and support in these trying times.
Resources and Supports
- Youth Services Bureau Crisis Line: 613-260-2360 or 1-877-377-7775 (Eastern Ontario)
- Support Line for African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) Communities Phone: 343-571-0097
- Distress Centre of Ottawa Phone: 613-238-3311 (24/7) Text: 343-306-5550
- Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868
- Counselling Connect
- First Nations and Inuit Hope and Wellness Helpline 1-855-242-3310
- LGBTQ Youthline 1-800-268-9688
We support the right to peaceful protest and freedom of expression related to COVID-19 restrictions. Unfortunately, what is happening in Ottawa is neither. There is no place in Canadian society for hatred, bigotry or racism. As a faith community, we stand in unison against all prejudices, and we pray this protest will come to a swift and peaceful end. Student and staff safety remains our number one priority, and we will continue to work with police and municipal officials to ensure our schools remain safe and welcoming facilities.
Thomas D’Amico, Director of Education
Mark D. Mullan, Chairperson