Teacher suspended from Ajax school as board investigates use of a racist word in class


Published October 14, 2022 at 8:10 pm

A teacher at Viola Desmond Public School in Ajax is under investigation after they were recorded using the N-word in a class that included Black students.

In a video, the teacher is discussing the use of the slur while surrounded by students before uttering the N-word. The video has been sent out to the media from an anonymous source who said their daughter was in the classroom at the time.

After learning of the incident and the video the Durham District School Board (DDSB) announced they had launched an internal investigation and the teacher was suspended for two weeks.

“We are taking this matter very seriously, and an occasional teacher is currently teaching this class while we conduct an investigation,” the DDSB said, “Racist slurs and all forms of discrimination under the Human Rights Code cause harm and are unacceptable in our learning and working environments. We are taking steps to address this situation.”

The school opened in 2018. It is named after Canadian civil rights icon Viola Desmond who refused to leave the whites-only section of a segregated Nova Scotia movie theatre in 1946. She has graced the $10 bill since 2018, replacing Prime Minister John A. Macdonald.


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