Public board staff less diverse than Lambton


Blake Ellis/Local Journalism Initiative

Two percent of staff at Lambton Kent District School Board is of Indigenous descent, while three percent identify as part of a racialized community. That is half of what is reflected in the Lambton Kent community with four percent being of Indigenous descent, while six percent are of a racialized community.

Eighty-eight percent of staff identified as white.

These were just some of the results from a staff census. Out of 3,377 employees, 66 per cent participated. Only 37 per cent of the casual, temporary or occasional staff participated.

Other findings included seven percent of respondents identify as individuals living with disabilities. 48 per cent who were have chronic health conditions, while 37 per cent have been diagnosed with a mental health disability.

Half of the public board’s staff identified as Christians, with 32 percent with no religion or faith, agnostic, atheist or spiritual but not religious. Two percent are of non-Christian religions.

Three per cent identify as part of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, with 10 percent of individuals choosing not to answer the sexual orientation question.

Director of Education John Howitt said the recommendations from the staff study are very important and should not be put on the shelf, he said. “If we don’t follow through, we can’t expect success in the future,” said Howitt

An equity audit will be completed next, which helps to fill out the full picture with the results expected to come to the board in the new school year.

This is a part of the school district’s desire to get a handle on its current diversity. A student census was also conducted with its results released to trustees in March. There was a low participation rate among parents of elementary school students at only five per cent and 34 per cent of students at the secondary school level.

Howitt chalked up the low participation rate due to timing as it was conducted in March and April 2022, just as the pandemic was winding down.

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