A joke about picking cotton drew outrage online, and intervention by administrators at Langley Christian School. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Bad Video Embed Code

A joke about picking cotton drew outrage online, and intervention by administrators at Langley Christian School. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Racist ‘cotton’ comment by B.C. student generates outrage online, response by school

Administrator says ‘no doubt that implicit and overt discrimination is present’ in schools

An incident involving a racist joke about picking cotton, made by a student at a Langley, B.C. school has been resolved, according to a spokesperson for the school and a family member of the student who was the target.

In a social media posting that has generated more than 25,000 clicks of support and more than 700 comments, a family member, the older brother of the student, described how his sibling at the school was taking a physical education class at Langley Christian School (LCS) when the remark was made.

@evan.vese

I hope this brings some awareness to the problem at hand. It ain’t a joke. BC School systems ain’t educating bout this! @josiahvese ##blm ✊🏽

♬ original sound – evan.vese

“He’s doing push ups [and] this white kid has the audacity to walk up to him and say ‘keep picking up the cotton,’” and pretended to whip his back with a jumping rope, the family member recounted.

He went on to say that “ignorant” people who make those kind of jokes “don’t even understand the hurt they are bringing.”

“I hope this brings some awareness to the problem at hand.”

It happened last year, but the student didn’t report it until the current school year, when the school launched an anti-racism initiative, which prompted the student to come forward, LCS head of schools Adam Woelders said.

The student who made the joke has “accepted responsibility and participated in a fully restorative and educational process,” Woelders added.

“Like all schools in our community monitored by the Ministry of Education in British Columbia, LCS responds seriously to any communication or behaviour that deliberately degrades, denigrates, labels, stereotypes, incites hatred, slander, prejudice and discrimination toward anyone on the basis of one’s real or perceived sexual or gender orientation, identity, appearance, capacity, disability, ethnicity or religion,” Woelders elaborated.

“No doubt, implicit and overt discrimination is present in public and independent schools throughout the Fraser Valley region, and we all have much to do as community leaders to continue to work hard to equip staff, students and families to transform our communities for the better.”

READ ALSO: Peaceful walk highlights Black Lives Matter in Langley

Hundreds of comments posted in response to the online post said such incidents are all too common.

“I can’t count how many times I heard a non-black kid in my school say the ‘n’ word,” one person wrote.

Another said racism is in Canada “is hidden behind laughter and just kidding,” while a third described how they grew up with a best friend “who is South Sudanese, and I’ve watched this kinda stuff happen to her our whole childhood.”

While the family member did not respond to a request for an interview by the Langley Advance Times, the person did post a follow-up message that said the “situation was dealt with.”

READ ALSO: Teach Black history to fight racism, starting in elementary school: B.C. students

British Columbia Education Minister Rob Fleming recently announced his ministry was examining ways to work with local groups to develop a curriculum that better incorporates Black history, including the slave trade and the Underground Railroad.

Ministry staff were meeting with the B.C. Black History Awareness Society in an effort to address the needs of young people who are demanding change, Fleming said in a statement.

“We plan to listen and we are committed to working with community partners to strengthen the curriculum, to support diversity and to add to the global effort to end systemic racism,” he said.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Langleyracism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

Kieran Christison, manager of Daybreak Farms in Terrace inspects eggs on Oct. 30, 2020. Christison wants to transition to a zero waste, cage-free facility. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Daybreak Farms aiming to achieve zero-waste, cage-free facility

Kieran Christison, manager, presented the farm’s future plans to Terrace city council

Mercedes Trigo, assistant manager, said that Trigo’s Lifestyle Store in Terrace has experienced four broken windows and an attempted break-in recently, leaving her feeling unsupported by bystanders and the police. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
Trigo’s management frustrated by property damage, theft

In a little over a month there have been four broken windows and an attempted break-in at the store

Two RCMP officers have been recognized for their actions in responding to an incident involving a man with a weapon at 4501 Park Ave. on the afternoon of April 27, 2020. RCMP say it was an isolated incident and there is no danger to the general public. (Jake Wray photo)
Terrace RCMP officers recognized for acts of bravery

Two involved in arrest of armed suspect

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Since April 4, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Vancouver the largest source of domestic flights with COVID-19 cases: data

This month alone, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

Most Read