Picture of Citadel student in blackface shared to social media
Published Friday, May 17, 2019 9:42PM ADT
Photos, which appear to depict a student from Citadel High School in Halifax wearing blackface, have been posted to social media.
“We are dealing with it,” said Citadel principal Joe Morrison.“We are very concerned and we do not tolerate this in any way, shape or form.”
Morrison says he found out about these photos circulating on social media Thursday and immediately informed parents.
The photos appear to show a young person in black face.
The school says they're taking the incident very seriously and that racism and discrimination in any form are unacceptable.
The school has also met with all students who identify as African Nova Scotians to discuss the issue.
“The students were extremely mature and wanted to know the best way, wanted to support us in helping us support this student, realizing that education is a key piece to this,” Morrison said.
Social worker and sociologist Robert Wright says images like the one posted this week can be hurtful and detrimental to others.
“I think like the n-word, I think in the North American context, I think everyone understands that these things are so terribly offensive, we actually equate the use of these things, the use of the n-word, the use of black face, as a form of violence against people of African descent."
The school says the young person who allegedly posted the photos will be held accountable and educated about her actions.
“We will be following the provincial school code of conduct and there will be discipline in regard to this,” Morrison said.
Meanwhile, Wright considers photos of someone in blackface to be hate speech.
“We should use the opportunity to educate other people that this is not just fooling around,” Wright said. “This is an act of violence against black people and by definition, an act of violence that is motivated by race, would be a hate crime.”
The school also plans to educate students about the power of social media.
“We, as educators, spend a lot of time dealing with social media issues and educating students on the appropriate use of social media, where it is a powerful tool and a tool that students now are using 24 hours a day,” Morrison said.
There is no word yet when the student involved may be disciplined.
The school says they will be continuing the conversation about what happened this week with African Nova Scotian students next week.
In addition, members from the community have also volunteered to help out in any way they can.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Natasha Pace.