UPDATE (May 14, 2019): A principal and vice principal at a Canadian school have been placed on leave after trying to cover-up an assault against a Black girl.
Genesis’ mother, identified by Toronto City News as Tara, posted a letter from the Toronto District School Board confirming disciplinary action against principal Mario Sirois and vice principal Maryam Hasan on her Instagram page. The letter also confirmed an investigation of the incident is in progress.
“At that time, we had noted serious incidents that had occurred and gaps in how procedures were followed,” wrote district superintendent Diana Panagiotopoulos.
“Our investigation about those gaps and the extent to which they have impacted the school is still in process. In the meantime, support staff have been put in place at the school to work with students and staff to hear their concerns and co-create strategies to address those concerns.”
Tara encouraged her Instagram followers to stand up for themselves in the face of adversity.
“Fight for what you believe in, we’re just getting started no black child should go to school dealing with Anti- Black behaviour in the schools,” she wrote.
The racially charged incident allegedly happened on March 27. Earlier this month, Toronto District School Board Spokesperson Ryan Bird tried to explain the incident away.
“It is important to note that the violent incident was dealt with by the school when it occurred in March and resulted in serious consequences,” Bird said in an email to Toronto City News. “At that time, staff also became aware of the allegation of a past racist remark. The incident was addressed when it took place and concerns expressed by those involved continue to be taken seriously.”
It is unclear what disciplinary action, if any, was taken against the boy. The parents of both students filed a police report and Toronto Police intends to follow up with both sets of parents.
Original: A Toronto mother is livid at the conduct of school officials who attempted to downplay an incident where a Black student was punched in the face, given a bloody nose and called racial slurs by a white student.
Genesis, a Black girl attending Glenview Senior Public School in Toronto, came to school administrators a few weeks ago because a white student had been bullying her since November. The situation escalated when the boy punched Genesis in the eye after repeatedly calling her the N-word and spreading disgusting lies about her.
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A couple weeks ago my daughter was punched in the face by an other student in her class, my daughters eye was punched Shut. The incident occurred around 12:20 pm my daughter requested to call me immediately as she was very upset... the school Vp advised my daughter to put ice on her face first before they called as they knew how I would react to the incident so they tried to cover it up.... at around 1:32 pm I received the first call from the VP of GlenView middle school stating that my Daughter Genesis was in a “ little “ situation with one of the students in her class and her face looks a bit different then when she left home this morning... at that time I requested to speak back to my daughter, I asked Genesis what took place she let me know, that this boy in her class room whom had been bullying her since last November took a binder to her face which made her nose start bleeding which the Vp failed to tell me as well as punching her in the face.... Now this little boy has been bullying my daughter since November telling students my daughter has sex with her dad saying stuff like my daughter has NIGGER hair which the Guidance teacher was fully aware of but didn’t feel it was important to report to the VP or principal because the child is white And dear not they ruin his bright future ahead of him .... what is very alarming is the TDSB superintendent admitting that they handle case based on Race,Tax bracket and where you live .... if this had been a black little boy that did this a white little girl there would be justice #justiceforgenesis @blklivesmatter @tdsb.on.ca @cp24breakingnews @patricia_j @bell_letstalk Now I @ all these places because the student is still at the school bullying my daughter and the school is doing nothing to stop this child he’s always at my daughters locker and at this point if something is not done I’m go handle this myself! I’m tired of the corruption in our system period!!!!!!!!! @citynewstoronto
Genesis' mother, who goes by @__chocolatecharlie on Instagram, shared photos of her daughter's bruised eye as well as phone conversations she was having with school officials who sought to downplay the incident and protect the other student from being disciplined.
The girl's mother said the school's vice principal knew she would be angry about the injury to Genesis' eye, so they told the little girl to put ice on it before calling her. The administrator said Genesis had been in a "little situation" and might "look a bit different than she did in the morning."
@tdsb— Balut (@isabelleglavez) May 2, 2019
Genesis is a sweet girl who does not deserve this kind of treatment especially in school where students have to feel safe! This is horrifying to see her like this, I want to stand up for her and other students who are going through this situation.! #justiceforgenesis pic.twitter.com/5LvKTwXc8T
When she was finally able to speak to Genesis, her daughter said the boy had been bullying her for months and escalated it by slamming a binder in her face. After hitting her with the binder, the boy punched her in the eye. The binder hit, which school officials did not tell her mother about, caused her nose to bleed. Her eye was swollen, and she had difficulty opening it for weeks after.
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"Now this little boy has been bullying my daughter since November telling students my daughter has sex with her dad saying stuff like my daughter has N****R hair which the guidance teacher was fully aware of but didn’t feel it was important to report to the VP or principal because the child is white and dare not they ruin his bright future ahead of him....what is very alarming is the TDSB superintendent admitting that they handle cases based on race, tax bracket and where you live," she wrote on Instagram.
"If this had been a Black little boy that did this a white little girl there would be justice. The student is still at the school bullying my daughter and the school is doing nothing to stop this child he’s always at my daughters locker and at this point if something is not done I’m go handle this myself! I’m tired of the corruption in our system period!"
On her Instagram page, she shared videos of multiple phone calls she held with school officials who sought to ignore the incident and address the situation with promises for future changes.
Multiple attempts to contact the school, Principal Mario Sirois and Vice-Principal Maryam Hasan as well as Superintendents Diana Panagiotopoulos and Shelley Laskin were unsuccessful.
The school has dodged calls from multiple reporters and recently tweeted about anti-bullying efforts. Those posts have been flooded with comments about Genesis and her situation.
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