Montreal Teacher Shocked To Find N-Word In High School Textbook

Emilie Clavel
·2 min read
A translated textbook created for the Secondary 4 “History of Québec and Canada” course features multiple iterations of the uncensored N-word.
A translated textbook created for the Secondary 4 “History of Québec and Canada” course features multiple iterations of the uncensored N-word.

MONTREAL — A social sciences teacher at a Montreal English-language school was shocked to see the N-word printed in a history textbook used by secondary students in some Quebec schools.

The book, Journeys Through the History of Quebec and Canada, is published by Les Éditions CEC, and was translated from French. The N-word appears twice in English and once in French in a section about FLQ-member Pierre Vallières’ 1968 book White N*****s of America.

The N-word has been the topic of a heated debate in Quebec in recent weeks after a University of Ottawa professor was suspended for using the offensive term in class.

Robert Green, who teaches at Westmount High School, was shocked to find the word “without any context” in a textbook aimed at teenagers. He said his high school uses a different textbook but he found out about the excerpt through a retired colleague who stumbled across the entry by coincidence.

HuffPost Québec wasn’t able to confirm how many schools in the province use this textbook, or whether the original French version also uses the term, but the English Montreal School Board confirmed to the Montreal Gazette that it was used in some of its schools. Montreal’s Lester B. Pearson School Board also told CBC News the textbook was being used by some of its schools, but neither boards were able to say how many.

“The thing I thought about immediately was having a 15 year old kid in my classroom read that,” John Commins, the colleague who first spotted it, told HuffPost. “Everybody would have been very uncomfortable.”

Commins helped design the province’s previous history curriculum in 2003 and spoke out against the new program in the spring of 2016, shortly before it was rolled out in schools.

Teachers are free to select the materials they deem appropriate for their teaching.Bryan St-Louis, spokesperson for the Quebec Ministry of Education

Quebec’s Ministry of Education wouldn’t say if it approves of the use of the N-word in a...

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