MANITOULIN – An insensitive Hallowe’en prank by unidentified students at Manitoulin Secondary School went south fast after being spotted in the hallways by a teacher on Friday, October 22. A group of students were parading through the halls as Nazis while singing a Nazi anthem. The incident unsettled student Jocelyn Kuntsi,of Jewish descent, who took to online social media to voice her feelings.
The message in the black boxes on this page are her powerful Instagram postings on the issue.
The Expositor reached out to the student and her family, but had not received a reply as of press time Monday.
In response to queries made to the Rainbow District School Board (RDSB) requesting comment from the board chair and administration, the following statement was issued.
“We appreciate the opportunity to respond,” RDSB Director of Education Bruce Bourget told The Expositor. “This incident is most concerning to us.”
Mr. Bourget went on to say, “We do not tolerate acts of racism in our schools. We also take the safety and well-being of all students and staff very seriously.”
The director of education added that, “After investigating this incident, it became clear that what occurred was not based on hate but based on a lack of understanding of antisemitism and the depth of the atrocities that were committed against Jewish people. Having said that, ignorance is never an excuse. These actions were unacceptable.”
Mr. Bourget asserted that, “The matter has been dealt with and includes an educational component. We value safe, welcoming and inclusive environments for all.”