'This is not acceptable': More allegations of racist bullying at Montreal-area school
A Quebec woman is planning to open a complaint with the Quebec Human Rights Commission over the response of her son's elementary school to what she called racist bullying from other students.
"This is not acceptable, no one should be going through things like this," said Noemi Teran, whose 11-year-old son attends McCaig Elementary School in Rosemere, north of Montreal.
"I'm not getting treated like the other students in the school," said her son, who Teran requested not be named publically. "People say racist comments about me."
Teran is working with the Centre for Research Action on Race Relations (CRARR), a local advocacy organization that is filing the complaint on her behalf.
It would be the second complaint filed by the CRARR involving McCaig in the last five years.
In 2017, another parent filed a similar complaint against McCaig's board, Sir Wilfred Laurier, which was upheld by the commission. In 2020, it told the school board to pay Adrienne Charles $30,000 for the alleged bullying her sons faced at the school.
"Racism slurs, name-calling, the N-word, Black people [being] compared to gorillas" were among the forms of bullying Charles said her sons experienced.
CRARR Executive Director Fo Niemi says the case is now before the Human Rights Tribunal.
"How many more cases do you need to basically say that there's a problem?" he said on Saturday.
Teran says she feels education staff are not taking her complaints seriously.
"They roll their eyes, they trivialize it, as if it's not serious," she alleged – claims echoed by the CRARR in a Friday press release.
CTV News reached out to the school board, which denied the allegations.
"We disagree with the allegations and wish to state in the strongest terms, that they do not reflect our values, position, nor our standards of educational practices," wrote board spokesperson Maxeen Jolin in a statement.
"At the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board, we believe in and promote equity, inclusion and diversity. The CRARR has not communicated with us to validate the accuracy of any of these false allegations that do not reflect the facts."
"We do not and will not stand for discrimination against any individual or group, and we firmly believe that diversity is what makes us unique and stronger," Jolin continued, adding that the board was not able to provide further comments due to "confidentiality obligations."
Teran, assisted by the CRARR, says they are in the process of gathering evidence to support their complaint before approaching the commission.