Halloween Decoration Described As "Racist And Very Offensive"

Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 11:39 AM

A Halloween decoration is being described as racist.

It was placed on a door of the Early Childhood Education classroom at NSCC Burridge in Yarmouth as part of a decoration contest.

A photo, taken by a Black student at Burridge, was sent to Vanessa Fells while she was attending a Black educators conference with over 100 guests including several international educators.

Fells tells Acadia News the door decoration is very offensive.

"It depicts a Black woman, dressed provocatively, smoking a cigarette with a baby haphazardly in one hands and then says 'this not not how to ECE', or be an early childhood educator. You have Black students at NSCC right now dealing with this and having people tell them 'it's your problem and you're being too overly sensitive.' No, they're not being overly sensitive. We need to start talking about the fact that this is happening and how to make it stop. Not just at NSCC but in the community at large."

She says the decoration was offensive on many levels, not just to African Nova Scotians, but to women.

"It's women's history month and especially because this person is depicted to be African Nova Scotian. It states that this class believes that this is how African Nova Scotian women are and that this is how they raise their children."

She says the decoration has been removed.

"You had teachers, instructors and students who walked passed this for a week and didn't see a problem with it."

Here is an emailed response sent to our newsroom from Mary Thompson, principal of Burridge Campus....

"We are addressing a serious issue which has occurred on our campus. An image created by one of our classes and shared on social media perpetuates negative racial and gender stereotypes. We are actively investigating this issue and once our investigation is complete, we will determine next steps.

It's very important to me, and to NSCC, that we understand how this activity occurred in our learning environment. We understand that racism exists in our society and we have a responsibility to acknowledge it when it shows up in our organization, and to address the harm and impact it has on our community."