This morning our Loyola students received an email that appeared to be sent from one of our School Vice-Principals. It was evident that this was a phishing email, which is a form of cyberattack, where the sender is impersonating someone known to the recipients.
As soon as this was brought to our attention, we took immediate steps to block access to this account and notify Loyola students to delete the email, and not reply or click on the links within the message.
We have initiated an investigation with Halton Regional Police Services and with our HCDSB Information Technology Services. The parties involved in this incident will be dealt with accordingly.
Although the cyber attack is unlawful in and of itself, what is even more disturbing is the hate messaging that was contained within the email. This hate was directed towards members of the Black community and people with disabilities.
Hate incidents such as this are a violation of our Policy on Equity and Inclusive Education, an infringement on the human dignity that is inherent in all of us, and a desecration of the values we hold dear as a Catholic faith community. While we are disappointed, and quite frankly, disgusted by this incident, Loyola, as a community of faith will continue to respond to acts of racism in our school with faith, hope and love. We are a Christ-centered environment, dedicated to providing learning and workspaces that are free of discrimination, harassment and violence for all students, staff, and members of our community.
Racism and discrimination will not be tolerated, condoned or ignored at St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Secondary School.
What Are We Doing to Address Racism in Our School?
As a school, we have embedded equity and anti-Black racism in all that we do to ensure a safe and welcoming community for all. Our work is ongoing, and we will continue to implement proactive practices to create a respectful school environment upholding our school motto of Dignity, Equity and Respect.
We will keep challenging all staff and students to critically examine and address systemic injustice and inequity in our school community and in society. We will continue encouraging students to speak up on issues around anti-Black, anti-Asian and anti-Indigenous racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, ableism, homophobia, xenophobia, and all other forms of oppression.
We will keep working with all members of our community to explore ways to create a culture of inclusion in our school so that every one of our students can feel a deep sense of safety and belonging.
We Are with You
It is not enough to say we are not racist; we must be anti-racist. We need to become accomplices to dismantle systemic inequity and racism in our school and in the broader community.
To the students, families and staff who are most directly impacted by anti-Black racism, we want you to know that we are in this with you. Our commitment extends beyond providing support through words on the sidelines. We are committed to working together to put an end to anti-Black racism.
Supports for Students and Families
Dealing with traumatic events that include acts of hate such as anti-Black racism and ableism can be very distressing, most especially on youth. Please do not hesitate to contact your Vice-Principal if your son or daughter is struggling and requires support from our school Social Worker.
School Mental Health Ontario has developed a number of resources for students, staff and families who may need help in dealing with painful emotions triggered by racism and discrimination.
Community Mental Health Supports
The following is an additional list of community supports that your family may wish to access.
If you have any information that may assist Halton Regional Police Services with their investigation, please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or visit www.crimestoppers.ca
We offer our prayers to the students, families and staff in our St. Ignatius of Loyola community who have been hurt by this act of racism and hatred. Please know that we stand with you in solidarity in our commitment to put an end all forms of racism and discrimination in our school community and in society.
The Loyola Administrative Team