Quebec’s human rights commission has rejected claims by an Aylmer resident that a book assigned to his son’s 6th grade class has racist content in one of its passages.
The son, Quincy Francois, was aged 12 and a student at the Ecole de Cavaliers, Aylmer, when their teacher assigned the reading from the book Un cadaver de class, which is alleged to have racist content.
The son later read the passage to Gioberti Francois, the father, who went ahead to issue a complaint with the son’s school. Quincy notes that he did not understand what he was reading at the time.
Through a statement, the school’s board said the book would no longer be available to elementary schools and they pulled it down after the father issued the complaint. The board added that the text was meant to initiate discussion regarding racial issues.
But, the sone said that the teacher did not offer an opportunity for further discussion.
The text contains passages, which when translated into English read,” in life, we don’t always do what we want and we are often someone’s nègre.”
From the French perspective, the word Nègre has multiple meanings. It can mean negro or its equivalent. Gioberti decided to escalate the issued to the Human Rights Commission, where they rejected the issue, with the author of the ruling noting that he wasn’t offended by the content of the passage.
Quebec’s center for Research-Actions on Race (CRARR), said they felt disappointed by the HRC’s decision, particularly because the book is still one of the many approved by the education ministry.