Statements were given to media regarding alleged racism at Christ the King School
October 21, 2019
The statement issued October 15, 2019
“On September 23rd the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) was called to Christ the King Elementary/Junior High School because of a disturbance at the school. Earlier that month, on September 12th, a Grade 6 student was asked to remove a durag, as it contravenes that ‘no caps, bandanas or hats’ are allowed in the school. On September 23rd, the student’s mother came to the school for a meeting as she did not agree with the decision by the Principal. The conversation and conduct of the mother quickly escalated and police were called. EPS responded to the school and while observing her conduct, asked the Principal how long the mother should be banned from the school. The EPS then escorted the mother out of the school and the mother has now been banned by the school for the rest of the school year because of her conduct. The issue of race had no bearing on the actions taken and was NEVER part of the discussion. After a thorough review of the incident, the Edmonton Catholic School Division is confident in the actions and decisions made by the Principal and will not be making any additional comments.”
Statement issued on October 16, 2019
- “The School Team Advisor for Youth (STAY) officer talked with the student on September 12th. STAY advisors are ECSD staff members that support junior high students by educating and mentoring students and staff on the realities that they may face each day. They are also retired Edmonton Police Service (EPS) members. He used the word ‘gang’ when discussing why a durag is not allowed in the school, among other types of headwear. The term ‘gang’ was mentioned only in the context of providing information and not to allege the student had any affiliation with gangs. The Division remains committed to the rich diversity of our student population.”
Statement issued by Edmonton Catholic Schools – October 17, 2019
- The situation that took place at Christ the King School in September and the subsequent information is of great concern to the Edmonton Catholic School Division. We want to start by recognizing and apologizing for the use of the word ‘gang’ with regards to this situation. It was never our intent to suggest that the boy had any affiliation with a gang. We also believe it is critical to respond to some of the misinformation that has become part of the story regarding the student.
- The 10-minute recording released to the public does not capture the entire conversation that took place. After the recording was turned off, the conduct of the mother escalated and our surveillance shows her acting aggressively towards staff and the police when they arrived. School staff can be seen crying and reported fearing for their safety. Police have also confirmed the mother’s aggressive behaviour to media. The Division stands by the decision to ban the mother from the school for the remainder of the school year. The issue of race had no bearing on this action being taken and was never part of the discussion.
- Although the mother is banned from school property for the remainder of the school year, the student was never part of this ban and his regular attendance has been expected. The choice to keep him home from school is solely the mother’s decision.
- We have been in constant communication with the father of the student and he fully supports how the incident was handled, believes the school is inclusive and welcoming and is committed to his son returning and continuing his education at Christ the King.