Students protest teacher’s use of racially offensive word
A RELIEF teacher at a Cairns school is now being investigated for reportedly using a racially-offensive term while explaining 1950s' American culture, sparking a student protest on Friday.
A Department of Education spokesman said Cairns State High School students conducted the peaceful protest in relation to the alleged incident on Thursday.
"The principal understands the term was used in the lesson's context while studying the playTwelve Angry Men and was not personally directed to the students," the spokesman said.
"Students brought the incident to the attention of the school leadership team.
"The incident is now being investigated by the Ethical Standards unit in the Department and
will be dealt with in accordance with departmental guidelines."
The spokesman said the school does not tolerate racism and acts quickly to resolve any form of "tension, marginalisation or conflict".
"Cairns State High School encourages all students to express their concerns and opinions in
a respectful and constructive manner," he said.
"Student voice is highly valued in the school community.
"Any students, staff or parents with concerns are encouraged to contact the principal."
The student protest also formed part of the 11th annual National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence on Friday.
Education Minister and McConnel MP Grace Grace said about one in five young people experienced online bullying and around 84 per cent of students who were bullied online were also bullied offline.
Ms Grace said the Queensland-led initiative was "all about empowering students to feel confident to be part of the solution to bullying, both online and in the schoolyard".
"In 2018, the premier established the Queensland Anti-Cyberbullying Taskforce - the first of its kind in Australia," she said.
"The Ministerial Student Advisory Council that I set up is a fantastic platform for students to share their perspectives on school life, including issues like bullying and mental health.
"Every student who experiences bullying needs to know that they are not alone, that they can reach out for help, and that we will be there to support them when they do."
Originally published as Students protest teacher's use of racially offensive word during lesson