Londonderry School has issued a statement after a recent recording of a teacher circulated on social media allegedly denouncing a Muslim student for skipping school to avoid Pride-themed events.
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In the nearly two-minute-long audio recording, an unnamed teacher told the Muslim student that it was “unacceptable” that they skipped class to avoid attending Pride-related events.
She began her lecture by saying that there was no complaint from peers when the Muslim holiday Ramadan was acknowledged during school.
“It goes two ways. If you want to be respected for who you are, if you don’t want to suffer prejudice for your religion, your colour of skin or whatever, then you better give it back to people who are different from you. That’s how it works,” said the teacher.
She then refers to a passage of a bill in Uganda, Africa, that punishes “aggravated homosexuality,” homosexual acts committed against children or the disabled.
Even consensual homosexual acts, which is illegal in Uganda, could now result in life in prison.
The teacher continued her onslaught by saying that if the student didn’t believe in LBGTQ+ rights then “you can’t be Canadian. You don’t belong here.”
Edmonton Public Schools said it is aware of the audio recording and the school and division are taking steps to address the situation.
In a statement, it said that it is unable to provide any further information on the state of the situation due to the division’s legislated privacy obligations.
Last saturday, Ed Charpentier, the principal of Londonderry School, sent out a letter to parents saying that the views expressed by the teacher are not representative of the school’s values.
“We know that words matter and they have the ability to bring us together and also to divide us. I want to assure you we are addressing the situation accordingly,” said Charpentier in the letter.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims tweeted about the incident saying that they were “deeply concerned” and said the teacher was engaging in “deeply Islamophobic, inappropriate and harassing behaviour.”
“We believe that schools should be inclusive places for all. The teacher’s comments in this case were clearly, as per the letter issued by the school, deeply problematic, targeted, and harmful,” the NCCM said in a statement to Postmedia.
The organization said it is reaching out to the school and considering potential further legal issues and would not be able to comment further at this time.
— with files from the National Post