CALGARY (CityNews) – Hundreds of Calgary high school students walked out of class Thursday to protest systemic racism after a teacher was caught using the N-word, one of several incidents at schools over the past couple of weeks.
The students marched from Bishop McNally High School, asking for serious changes to the curriculum but also from system administration.
“You call them schools we call them a trauma zone for these children and that is not okay,” said Marion Ashton, Executive Director of Sankofa.
The students also released a list of demands wanting teachers who represent them and a curriculum that speaks to them.
“In all the Catholic schools I’ve been to, I’ve never had a Black teacher, I’ve really never had black teachers in all my years of school,” said one student.
“Whenever we do talk about black people it’s always about slavery, we’re more than that, we’re not just people you can pity for being enslaved.”
Another student in the protest said racism does exist but is never taught, especially the history behind it.
The incident that sparked this protest was seen on Instagram earlier this week.
It shows a white teacher at Bishop McNally using the N-word when describing the name black licorice candies used to be called.
Those at the protest called for that teacher to be fired.
“To be honest, if things aren’t changing here, we’re going to do the same thing every day until something changes,” one student declared.
The protest eventually made its way to Calgary Police headquarters, where the students made it clear they expect systemic changes across the board, not just at school.