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Senior administrator at an Oakville elementary school faces disciplinary hearing over alleged racist comments

Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Aaron Burden on Unsplash

A senior administrator of Oakville's St. Michael Catholic Elementary School (SMCES) is set to face a disciplinary hearing for improper comments they are alleged to have made over five years.

These incidents took place between 2016 and 2020.

Before joining SMCES in 2020, the individual was the senior administrator at St. Bernadette Catholic Elementary School. 

The Discipline Committee of the Ontario College of Teachers will hold a hearing to determine whether the allegations are true and whether the individaul is guilty of professional misconduct.

According to a Notice Hearing posted online by the Discipline Committee, the alleged comments are:

  • "Instructing a staff member to use the full N-word in front of students to explain to the students why using that same word is not permitted;."
  • Remarking, "what Black kid doesn’t like fried chicken[?]" during a school potluck
  • In 2020, "made comments to the effect of 'not wanting to tick off the Black Lives Matter parents."
  • Regarding a particular author as a possible speaker at the school - "Oh, is she black enough?"
  • Commenting, in front of colleagues, "I know what I’m giving up for Lent, Black Lives Matter."
  • When asked if she was wearing the colours of the Jamaican Flag for Black History Month, said words to the effect of, "Yes, [my colleague] and I were going to get [t-shirts] that said N1 and N2" in reference to the N-word
  • In a meeting with the school Vice-Principal and a colleague, said she was "giving up Black Lives Matter for Lent" or words to that effect.
  • While discussing a Black student with her colleague, said, "that family always uses the race card," and "all those parents care about is Black Lives Matter."
  • When asked by a colleague about her tan and/or if she had been on vacation, she said, "no, I didn’t go to Jamaica."

The Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) suspended the individual without pay for ten days.

The HCDSB’s motto is, "It is not enough to say we are not racist; we must be anti-racist."

They claim that they "will keep challenging all staff and students to critically examine and address systemic injustice and inequity in society, and will continue encouraging students to speak up on issues around anti-racism including anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, anti-Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and many other forms of oppression."

The date of the hearing is yet to be determined.