WATCH: Parents outraged by "N" word in their children's homework handout
Parents of black grade six students at a Montreal school are wondering what the "N" word is doing in their homework handouts, saying it's racist and unacceptable.
The "N" word was found in a vocabulary exercise sheet in a list that included donkey, worm and other animals and inanimate objects such as table and glove.
The students attend Académie Saint-Clément in TMR.
Students claimed that when they approached the teacher about it saying it seemed racist, he told them it was a word that was still being used these days and saw nothing wrong with it.
"If you use that word, that means the other children are going to think, 'Well, we can use that word, it's in that material, why not?" said Nathalie, the mother of one of the students.
"They're going to think, 'Ok, it's normal, I can use that word, it doesn't shock anyone."
The Marguerite-Bourgeoys School Board said in an email statement that they have not received any complaints about it but that they do not endorse the use of the word and is telling the publisher to take it out.
The publisher, Éditions de l'Envolée, said in an email statement to CJAD 800 News that the document is 20 years old and that the word would not have been accepted with their current norms and that what was acceptable back then would not necessarily be the case now.
The publisher said the word was used without context but that they'd be deleting it right away and the document would be updated this afternoon.
Fo Niemi, executive director of the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations said the "N" word wasn't acceptable even 20 years ago.
"Just last month, the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal issued two court decisions fining people for using the "N" word thousands of dollars. Occasionally, we have these court decisions so the question is, where have some people been for the past 20 years with regard to the very, very racist and unacceptable nature of this word?" said Niemi in an interview with CJAD 800 News.
CRARR is calling on the education minister to see how this document could have been circulated in a public school, if it was used throughout the system and if so, was the minister aware of it and approved it.
The ministry is looking into the matter.
Mom of one of the 11-yr-old black students whose homework included handouts with the "N" word in it says what was also shocking was that the word was mixed in with words like donkey and other animals as well as inanimate objects. #CJAD pic.twitter.com/wzEHLVQYGz— Shuyee Lee (@sleeCJAD) March 5, 2018