Collège Sainte-Anne says it's taking action after a video of six students wearing costumes spelling out a racist term began circulating on social media. "We take these shared videos very seriously and we find [them] totally outrageous,” said Ugo Cavenaghi, CEO of the private college in Lachine, in a statement. "The Collège of Sainte-Anne has a zero-tolerance policy towards racism and all forms of discrimination."
"Under this policy, any misconduct gets proper attention and is subject to penalty and reparations. The actions that have been brought to our attention this week will be no exception and the appropriate penalties will be taken," he continued.
The video online shows a group of students wearing t-shirts emblazoned with letters that spell out the N-word.
A number of people have been leveraging social media to call out the students for their racist behaviour.
Montreal police did not respond to a request for comment before publication.
Cavenaghi highlighted the various measures the college has taken to foster diversity and inclusion at the school but conceded that they’ve been unsuccessful.
“We must redouble our efforts,” he said. “Rest assured that we are currently thinking about the various initiatives that will be put in place as soon as the next school year."
"We must not only educate and raise awareness in students and staff about the presence of systemic racism but also think about concrete actions to prevent and stop these reprehensible behaviours toward any of our cultural communities present in Sainte-Anne.”
Cavenaghi said the school would form an anti-racism student advisory committee in early July to provide perspective and advice to help the college move forward in grappling with discrimination.
“We are committed to making Sainte-Anne a place of inclusion where such actions will not be tolerated,” he said.
It marks the second time in the past few weeks that a racist video featuring Montreal-area students received widespread condemnation.
Last week, police launched an investigation into a video showing two teens in blackface makeup using extremely offensive and racist language, though no charges were laid.