A substitute teacher in Canada may lose their job after posting a racially insensitive photo of a student on social media.
Ontario’s Peel District School Board said it learned of the offensive Instagram post last weekend after a concerned citizen alerted them to it via Twitter, according to City News Toronto. The school’s Superintendent of Education launched a probe into the matter on Saturday, saying it was “being investigated as anti-Black racism.”
“You’d be hard pressed to look at that particular image and say that it’s not a post that would be considered racism,” said PDSB spokeswoman Carla Pereira.
The photo in question appears to mock a young student’s hair, comparing it to an image of Marlon Wayans’ character “Loc Jaw” in the 1996 film “Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice In the Hood.”
“Who rocked it better?” the caption reads, followed by several “LOLs.”
Hi @PeelSchools, please be informed that a grade school teacher with your district is 1) openly mocking her students’ appearance and posting photos of them on social media 2) tagging the location of the school on her Instagram, putting them in danger. pic.twitter.com/Y3JNwz8EIf
— $pooky G (@giaper) June 2, 2018
This is not the kind of behaviour I expect from educators. This is so embarrassing and honestly fully racist. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of qualified teachers who are waiting for teaching positions, and this is who our children learn from?
— Fool of a Took! (@giaper) June 2, 2018
“You look at it, you look at the use of black stereotypes and you look at how the child is being compared to another individual in not a very nice way,” Pereira added. “…You’d be very hard pressed to say that it’s not anti-black racism – even though that’s what we are hearing from some members of the community who are saying it’s just a joke.
District officials called the teacher’s actions “simply unacceptable,” noting that they could face disciplinary action ranging from a verbal reprimand to sensitivity training, and even termination. For now, the teacher, who taught kindergarten at Brampton Elementary, is barred from taking any shifts with the PDSB or contacting students and staff while the district completes its investigation, City News Toronto reported.
“We don’t yet know how long the investigation will take or what the outcome will be, as we’re just getting started, but want to assure our community that this matter is being taken very seriously by senior leadership of the Peel board,” Pereira said.
The name of the teacher who posted the photo, nor the name of the school where the incident occurred have been released.