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Board investigates racist comments at Superior Heights

Algoma District School Board offers few details after letter sent to parents Tuesday
20200526-ADSB Superior Heights summer stock-DT-01
Superior Heights Collegiate and Vocational School. Darren Taylor/SooToday

Algoma District School Board (ADSB) is currently investigating racist comments directed toward students at Superior Heights Collegiate and Vocational School. 

Correspondence from the school alerted parents to the situation Tuesday. Contrary to the correspondence, Sault Ste. Marie Police Services say they are not involved in the investigation.

“It is unacceptable to abuse another person verbally or physically,” reads a portion of the correspondence to parents. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, and other negative comments and behaviour are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

A request to interview Superior Heights Collegiate and Vocational School Principal Jan Marrelli was denied by the school board Wednesday.  

In an email to SooToday, a spokesperson for ADSB said the board is unable to comment on student suspensions or disciplinary actions due to privacy concerns, adding that the board takes any incident of “bullying, harassment, or matters involving equity and inclusivity” seriously. 

“When there is a school incident, there is an investigation which includes interviews with students involved. Inappropriate behaviours are addressed through a continuum of prevention programs, interventions, supports, and consequences to address inappropriate student behaviour and to build upon strategies that promote and foster positive behaviours,” said ADSB superintendent of education Marcy Bell. “All types of incidents are tracked so that programming and interventions can be put in place in response to the data. 

“Over the past seven years, our ADSB well-being survey data from students/parents does not reflect a noted increase and we will continue to commit to bullying prevention and raising awareness with our students.”

The school board informed SooToday that it has developed a series of “robust” policies around bullying, safety, progressive discipline, inclusivity and general conduct