Parents demand resignation of York district school trustee for uttering racial slur

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Parents demand YRDSB trustee resign
WATCH ABOVE: At a public YRDSB meeting Tuesday night parents voiced their concerns over a racist slur made by school board trustee, Nancy Elgie. Ashley Carter reports on the heated meeting and Elgie's response – Jan 25, 2017

Parents of students attending York district schools are demanding the resignation of a town trustee for uttering a racial slur directed at a black mother last fall.

A petition presented at a board meeting Tuesday night called for 82-year-old Nancy Elgie, who was absent from the meeting due to medical reasons, to step down.

“I’m not surprised she’s not here. I hope she would’ve been here to do the right thing and face me, face the community with a heartfelt apology,” said Charline Grant, the parent whom the racial slur was directed at during a public meeting on Nov. 22.

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The board, which is facing accusations of systemic racism, launched an investigation in December. A statement released by the board’s director of education last week said Elgie had issued a letter of apology to Grant.

READ MORE: York Region District School Board chair replaced amid system-wide racism allegations

“Still suffering from the after-effects of a head injury earlier in the fall, I struggled for words as I tried to identify Ms. Grant by referring to the concerns she and other had raised,” Elgie wrote. “The words came out horribly wrong…in this case the words were extremely hurtful ones.”

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York Regional District School Board Chair Loralea Carruthers said on Tuesday that forcing a trustee to resign is not within their powers.

“It’s the public that elects the trustees. There’s no way to remove an elected official other than at the ballot box,” Carruthers said. “As a group of trustees we cannot ask for her resignation. It’s part of our trustee code of conduct.”

Ontario Minister of Education Mitzie Hunter, who requested the board for an anti-racism action plan, was presented with recommendations earlier this month and is currently under review.

-With a report from Ashley Carter

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