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Montréal, January 25, 2019 - The mother of a 10-year old Black child at McCaig Elementary School in Rosemere, who was exposed to repeated acts of racial discrimination and harassment since the Fall of 2016, is deploring the fact that the school has again mishandled the incident of her child being once more called the N-word in class last week.

In 2017, Adrienne Charles publicly denounced the racially discriminatory treatment repeatedly directed at her two sons by other students. Both were often subject to racial slurs and jokes (such as the N-word) and aggressive behaviors by other students, which led to a toxic environment for the two Black children.

Despite Charles' repeated requests to the school principal and the school board for effective protection for her children and preventive measures to reduce anti-Black racism, there have been no concrete measures from the school to this effect. The racial incidents have created deep psychological effects on the two boys and their mother. Her son is practically the only Black child at the school; the older brother has since moved to another school.

CRARR filed, in May 2017, a complaint on her behalf and on behalf of her two children with the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission. In December 2017, the Commission stated it had assigned the case to an investigator and since then, there has been no news from the Commission, despite the urgency of the situation and the children's health and education rights being in jeopardy.

Then Liberal Education Minister Sébastien Proulx never responded to Charles and CRARR's call for urgent support for her children.

Last year, her son was called “poop face” on the school bus and “Nutella” in school on several occasions, and not much was done in either case.

The 10 year-old had a racial incident in class last Friday, when in the Math class, he told another disturbing boy to stop “acting autistic.” The boy in question called her son names, and then the N-word. Another student drew the attention of the teacher to the use of the N word while Charles’ son burst out in tears in full class, as the N-word brought back racial taunts and slurs which he experienced in 2016 and 2017. School officials met with both boys afterwards and asked them to apologize to each other.

What disturbed Charles is that since Monday of this week, nothing has been done to address the impact of the use of the N-word on the whole class. What Charles further deplores is that the Vice-Principal of the school forced her son to change his original letter to the other boy, in which he wrote, “Don't you EVER call me a “N” again”, into a letter in which the issue of the N-word has been completely left out.

Furthermore, Charles’ son has been forced to refer to his use of the word “dumb a-” which allegedly took place last year, and which was never brought to Charles' attention. Charles also objects to the fact that she was never consulted or informed about the fact that her son was compelled to change his letter before it was handed to the other boy.

“The school is denying my child the right to object to being called the N-word, and it once again refuses to address the impact of this racist incident on the whole class,” Charles said.

“My son was publicly denigrated, the whole class is talking about it, and the incident is treated as something between two kids using bad words to each other, ” she noted.

According to CRARR Executive Director Fo Niemi, “We're one week away from Black History Month and by trivializing this racial incident, the school shows that it needs to better train its staff on confronting anti-Black racism in the classroom, and adopt systemic intervention measures so that the Black child and his family do not end up being doubly victimized.”

Complaints filed with the Commission are increasingly faced with long delays. It can take up to nine months for the Commission to follow up on a complaint, and afterwards, one year before an investigator is assigned. More than twenty complaints filed by CRARR in Summer 2018 have yet to receive a response, including some that concern urgent situations involving racialized children and youth.