Canada

Montreal North teacher fired after using N-word repeatedly in class

Vincent Ouellette had been suspended from his job at École secondaire Henri-Bourassa since Oct. 28 pending an investigation into his conduct.

École Secondaire Henri-Bourassa in Montréal-Nord Monday, October 22, 2007. To go with ongoing stories of tensions, possibly racial, between two schools: Ecole Secondaire Henri-Bourassa and Lester B. Pearson high school. (THE GAZETTE/John Kenney)

A teacher who had been suspended since last month after using racist terms before students in his class at a Montreal North high school has been fired.

Vincent Ouellette had been suspended from his job at École secondaire Henri-Bourassa since Oct. 28 pending an investigation into his conduct. The decision to terminate his employment was voted on Thursday night during a special meeting of the board of directors of the Centre de services scolaire de la Pointe-de-l’Île (CSSPI).

Last month’s suspension was imposed after videos emerged of Ouellette using the N-word in both French and English repeatedly while teaching online. Ouellette, who is white, defends the use of the word when referring to two Quebec literary works: a book by Pierre Vallières and a monologue by Yvon Deschamps.

Ouellette apologized a day before his suspension, saying his remarks lacked sensitivity. He said the controversy has given ammunition to those who want to limit the freedom of expression in academia.

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