By Judy Pham
A black parent who was called a nigger by a recently resigned York Region District School board trustee, has launched a human rights complaint against the Board.
Charline Grant is seeking $20,000 in her claim for damages to her ” dignity and self respect.”
Grant said that last November Trustee Nancy Elgie used the racial slur which was reported to be heard by several persons.
A subsequent investigation into the incident was conducted by the board and Elgie issued an apology “for the pain my words have caused.”
But her apology did not satisfy the offended parent. Grant and many other angry members of the black community demanded Elgie’s resignation.
Elgie,82, who has been a trustee for 17 years, finally resigned last February.
In an interview with The Caribbean Camera, Grant says she filed the complaint because she “wanted it on record.”
“I wanted to reveal that lots of the issue were covered up intentionally by the Director, the people involved.
“I wanted other families to know that when they are discriminated against and racially profiled, there are laws to protect them” said Grant.
Grant claims “this is about us taking our power back.”
“If using the word ‘nigger’ costs $20 000, they will think twice about using it. So many other communities have been paid back for what they faced. We have never been paid back,” said Grant.
She hopes the Board will “take it seriously.”
“There needs to be policies to protect families and staff, and people need to know the community has to be treated equally and not to be devalued” said Grant.
“Elgie’s slur and the board’s guarded approach to addressing incidents of this nature are an indication of the deeply entrenched systemic barriers that parents face when they seek to challenge racism within the board,” the Jamaica-born parent stated.