From the Director

Remarks for June 8, 2021

I’m honoured – and moved – to be here tonight with so many community members who have come together in remembrance of the tragic loss we all suffered Sunday night.

Fifteen-year-old Yumnah Afzaal was a student at Oakridge Secondary School – just a short distance from this mosque. Her teachers said Yumnah loved to learn, enjoyed the company of her friends and classmates – and wanted to make her family proud of her efforts.

Yumnah’s teachers described her as a smart, dedicated Grade 9 Honour Role student who was always ready to support her friends and community. She was creative and liked to paint. She was confident and had a bright and sparkling personality. She arrived to class with a beaming smile – each and every day.

Yumnah dreamed about travel, and someday becoming a business owner as a way of giving back to her community. She was caring, compassionate and devoted to giving her best effort every day.

Hate has no place in our school system or in our community.  

As a school board, we deeply respect and support our Muslim community. We remain steadfastly committed to combating racism, Islamophobia, and discrimination in all its forms and creating a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students and staff. 

In honour of Yumnah and her family, flags at all Thames Valley schools have been lowered to half-mast.

As the Education Director of the Thames Valley District School Board – and as a father – my heart goes out Yumnah’s family and friends, and I extend my deepest condolences to our Muslim community.

Together, we stand with our London family and vow to purposefully make a real change in our communities.

Mark Fisher,
Director of Education,
Thames Valley District School Board

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