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Vancouver School Board reassures parents after racist video pops up from Lord Byng student

Last Updated Dec 19, 2018 at 2:44 pm PDT

(Source: Lord Byng Secondary School website)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Vancouver school trustees have unanimously approved a motion affirming an ongoing commitment against racism after a white teen shared a video on social media filled with hateful comments about black people.

The motion was put forward by One City Vancouver trustee Jennifer Reddy after parents complained about what they consider a weak response to the student at Lord Byng Secondary School.

“It’s unacceptable and very disturbing,” says Janet Fraser, Vancouver School Board chair.

“We want our students to be safe in our schools. We want our students to know that they are cared for. We want our students to be able to learn and feel welcomed. Students come to school to learn. We want everyone to be able to feel safe and welcome to do that.”

Complaints had been filed by parents after they learned the boy who shared the racist video was only suspended three days.

In a Nov. 20 Facebook post, Ruthie Onyinyechi Ijeoma recounted what was said in the video which was shared in a private group chat and has since been taken down.

Ijeoma also questions how black students can feel safe at Lord Byng with such racism around.

A White, high school aged boy posted the following in a video, which was shared with a Black student who attends the…

Posted by Ruthie Onyinyechi Ijeoma on Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Fraser adds the school administration, the Ministry of Education, the organization Safer School Together and the Vancouver Police Department are working together on how to move forward at the school. She says they established there was no danger to students at the school.

“It was to acknowledge that this incident had happened and to affirm our ongoing commitment to anti-racism in the district,” she says.

“The work continues at the school. There’s a student forum has been held, some community partners have been brought in including Black Lives Matter.”

— with files from Kurtis Doering