Racial slurs banned by Ottawa school board even during quoting or reading text aloud
OTTAWA -- Ottawa's largest school board is banning the use of racial slurs and other offensive epithets, even during lessons or when quoting or reading text aloud.
In a statement, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board said, "The uttering or writing or use of racial or other slurs or epithets by staff […] is not permitted and cannot ever serve educational purposes."
The statement said this includes any words that are used in the pejorative to describe Indigenous peoples, racial, ethnic, religious, sex, gender, sexual orientation, and/or disability attributes.
The statement comes following "recent discussions in the media" the OCDSB said, likely referring to conversations around the use of the n-word by a professor at the University of Ottawa, which prompted comment from Quebec Premier François Legault.
The OCDSB said the use of slurs would not be permitted, even in cases including when reading aloud texts, quoting or teaching course content.
"It produces inequities in educational outcomes between targeted and untargeted student groups and results in harm. All staff have an obligation to intervene and respond sensitively if they hear racial or other slurs or epithets uttered or used by others," the school board's statement said.
"The next stage of the Board’s engagement in this area will include a review of the nature of resources that are used and the provision of further guidance and professional development regarding resource selection to encourage the diversification of perspectives, increase skill in teaching critical analysis of rich and challenging texts and to ensure the age appropriateness of resources being taught," the OCDSB said.
"Understanding the appropriate use of language is another demonstration of our commitment to prioritize the dignity and well-being of students in inclusive and caring classrooms."