CALGARY (CityNews) – Another video of a Calgary Catholic school teacher using the “N-word” in front of students has surfaced, prompting calls for a student walkout.
The video, posted to Instagram by the Black Youth Collective, shows an unidentified white teacher at Bishop McNally High School speaking to students about candies that were once called a racist name.
“She should be fired. I am tired of being tolerant of this behaviour,” said Marion Ashton with Sankofa Arts and Music Foundation.
“It’s a mirror of society’s narrative and standards and the lack of value for Black people, in this case, Black kids in schools.”
Ashton and Denise Dami-Fiberesima, also with the foundation, are both behind Thursday morning’s student walkout to end systemic racism in Calgary schools. They say they are not shocked by this video, just disappointed.
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“It seems like kids are speaking up now and saying what they want to be heard. I’m excited to see that kids taking a stand and they’re being heard,” said Dami-Fiberesima.
CityNews contacted the Calgary Catholic School District for an interview and in a statement, they wrote:
“While we can’t discuss any specific personnel situations due to privacy concerns we can tell you that we apologize and our hearts go out to any student or staff member ever impacted by systemic racism. We take every situation seriously and will investigate each individually to ensure a positive outcome that aligns with our faith. We will continue our work in education around racial justice and are looking at ways for students to feel safe in reporting any instances of racism, bullying, harassment and discrimination.”
However, Ashton said the students want to see more action. They want real work done at all levels to eradicate the systemic racism in the education system.
“An acknowledgement of the failure of the education system and its personnel to address the needs of Black students. We would like to see the development of a standing task-force comprised of all stakeholders along with a concrete schedule and a commitment to engage consistently to address these issues.”
She added she wants to see an education system that reflects Black people from the staff to the curriculum.