Montreal police investigating high school students’ racist video

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A racist video made by high school students in Montreal that circulated online has prompted the police to open an investigation into the matter on Monday.

The video, posted by two John Rennie High School students, shows both white teenagers in blackface singing highly racist and offensive lyrics.

Montreal police confirmed to Global News that an investigation into the video was underway, but that both students involved are minors and since their identities have circulated online both their safety and their families’ safety is at risk.

John Rennie High School said it was made aware of the social media video — which was made outside school hours — on Monday morning and reported it to authorities.

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“Hatred has no place in our school,” a statement from the school said. The high school said it is committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for all diverse students and staff.

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Akilah Newton from Overture with the Arts, an organization that delivers Black History Month presentations at John Rennie High School every year, said the incident highlights why many more conversations on racism need to be happening.

“I am absolutely shocked and appalled by [the] video spewing the most vile, hate-filled, racist comments that I’ve ever heard come out of the mouths of kids,” Newton said. “I am beyond disturbed by this.”

Myriam Made, who shared the video on Facebook, said she was disturbed by what she saw.

“I just want to make sure that we get the message that this exists in Quebec and that things have to change — such as more education in schools and punishment for any such racist acts,” Made told Global News.

Kemba Mitchell, chairperson of the West Island Black Community Association, says she was so shocked by the video that she couldn’t finish watching it.

“It was very disappointing to see simply because there’s been — to the best of my knowledge — open conversations and dialogue about systemic racism and racism in general and just how much we need our allies in this situation,” Mitchell said.

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