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Brantford students face ‘disciplinary action’ for racist, homophobic Instagram post

Last Updated Nov 14, 2019 at 6:57 pm EDT

Warning: This story contains language and an image that may be offensive to some viewers

A Catholic school board in Brantford says it is investigating after a photo was posted to social media that shows a group of high school students posing around a table and cake adorned with homophobic and racist language.

The Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board has confirmed with CityNews that students at Assumption College School in Brantford are present in the photo.

The photo, which was posted to a student’s private Instagram account on Saturday, November 9, shows around a dozen teenage boys — some of them drinking beer — standing around a table that has the N-word spelled out in yellow letters. On the table is a cake that spells out a derogatory term for homosexual men.

On Wednesday the school board said it only learned of the photo’s existence after being contacted for comment by CityNews earlier this week.

The board said once it became aware of the photo it immediately launched an investigation and the photo was removed from social media.

“As a result of the investigation, all students involved will be subject to disciplinary action which will be predicated on their level of involvement in the social media post. Discipline is based on the school and board code of conducts as well as board policy,” a board spokesperson told CityNews.

The photo was taken off school property, but the board says it can still dole out discipline for egregious behaviour in conflict with the school’s principles.

“There isn’t specific policy that speaks to activities that occur off school property; however, the board recognizes the seriousness of some incidents particularly when they impact the moral tone of the school community.”

The board says the teens “are not a collective that represented any team, club or organization from Assumption College School.”

According to the board’s behavioural policy, the students involved could face suspension or expulsion.

“The Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board promotes a safe and inclusive Catholic learning environment for all,” said Director of Education, Mike McDonald.

“The Board addresses all student behaviour and discipline with the upmost seriousness. All infractions brought to our attention pertaining to student behaviour, discipline and safety are taken very seriously and thoroughly investigated.

“Although this social media post was not associated with any Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board or Assumption College School event, not on school property, outside school hours, and at a private residence, we are saddened and extremely disappointed that it involved students from our school district.”

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