Toronto school investigates allegations of racist remarks by a teacher

TORONTO – A Toronto high school is investigating allegations that a teacher made racist remarks in front of students.

Keven Matchett said he was shocked when his son came home and told him about the alleged incidents.

“I was absolutely floored. I remember pulling over the truck to look at my son in the face and asked him are you embellishing? Are you exaggerating? Did this actually take place? And he said, ‘yeah Dad this actually happened.’” said Matchett.

Matchett said his son, who is in Grade 10 at Monarch Park Collegiate, told him about an incident during class. He said the teacher was splitting the class up into teams.

“’All the light coloured skin people on this side of the class. And all the dark coloured skin people on that side of the class.’ So he chose the colour of skin to separate a class. For the purpose of establishing teams.” said Matchett.

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In another instance, Matchett said his son told him the teacher told the class “All Asian people look the same.”

“I couldn’t sit still on this. I was very upset about this,” said Matchett.

Matchett contacted school administration with his concerns on Thursday. The school principal allegedly told him they were too busy to look into the complaint right away.

“Initially, it was relayed to me how unbelievably busy they were due to the impending 50th anniversary the school was about to celebrate,” he said.  “Because of that, the school was going to have to wait until Monday to be addressed.”

But then his son came home Thursday afternoon with another story about the teacher Matchett said. His son told him he was a couple minutes late for class so the teacher told him to leave.

“Get out of my class. I don’t care what you do or where you go. Just get out. Didn’t tell him to go to the office. Didn’t lecture him as to why were you late?” said Matchett.  “Our son is 14. This is now a safety concern.”

Matchett said he contacted the school right away and learned an emergency meeting took place between the school’s superintendent, principal and vice principal about the alleged remarks.

Global News contacted the school but was told all matters were being directed to the Toronto District School Board (TDSB).

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The TDSB said in a written statement to Global News the school is investigating.

“We pride ourselves on being multi-cultural, being a tolerant society, and accepting society. I feel like we packed up and moved and now we live four or five or six hours north of Toronto in a very small, enclosed, restrictive culture. That’s how it makes me feel,” said Matchett.

Matchett said he doesn’t want to see the teacher fired but thinks some education or sensitivity training may help. He and his partner adopted six children, some of whom have special needs and another who is a visible minority.

“I want to know that my children, all of my children, are living in a world, in a city where they are accepted 100%. Based on who they are as individuals, Not what they look like.”