City of Markham employee on leave after using N-word during college lecture

A municipal employee in Markham has been placed on administrative leave after using a racial slur during a guest lecture at a Toronto college.

The City of Markham confirms a staff member was speaking to students at George Brown College on Wednesday when she used the N-word while presenting a case study to a human resources class.

“The city was recently made aware of a troubling incident involving the use of racist language by a staff member,” says Bryan Frois, spokesperson for the City of Markham. “After learning of the incident, the staff member was placed on administrative leave.”

Markham officials say they have hired a third-party investigator to review the situation and “provide recommendations.”

The college has also launched an investigation to address the issue and take steps to prevent it from happening again. The school says representatives began looking into the issue as soon as they learned of it.

“(We are) aware of a disturbing and troubling incident involving the use of the N-word by a guest speaker,” reads a statement from college president Gervan Fearon. “We condemn this behaviour in the strongest terms and are taking this matter extremely seriously.”

“This incident is harmful and can be a traumatizing experience for many of our students.”

Students in the room reportedly confronted the guest speaker about her use of the word, according to the CBC.

The college says students are able to connect with the Office of Anti-Racism, Equity and Human Rights (OAREHRS) to talk about the incident with an advisor.

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