Vancouver elementary teacher suspended after using worksheets containing N-word

The Vancouver School Board says the teacher at Trafalgar Elementary distributed worksheets with the derogatory term to students.

Labour relations investigation underway after worksheets distributed to Trafalgar Elementary students

A Trafalgar Elementary school teacher has been suspended pending an investigation into their use of the N-word in a student worksheet. (Shutterstock/Syda Productions)

A teacher at an elementary school on Vancouver's West Side has been suspended pending an investigation into their use of the N-word in class.

The Vancouver School Board says a teacher at Trafalgar Elementary distributed worksheets with the derogatory term to students. 

The teacher's identity has not been released publicly as a labour relations investigation is underway.

In a statement, the school's parent advisory committee says it has raised "very serious concerns" to school administration about the incident.

"As a parent community, we do not condone/strongly oppose any use of racist language," it wrote. 

It went on to say the group is proud of the school's inclusive values and is committed to providing a respectful environment for students.

No protocol on derogatory words

The Vancouver Elementary School Teachers Association, the local union, said it's supporting the teacher through the process.

President Chloe McKnight could not comment on the incident specifically, but said there's no specific protocol for teachers when it comes to potentially derogatory terms.

"We recognize it's really important for teachers to be having sometimes difficult conversations around race and sexuality," said McKnight.

"As teachers, we want to make sure that students feel safe at school, that they understand certain topics and certain words. Students are aware of and they know about them. They're being used around them.

"As teachers, we try to make sure students are informed and understand the impact of certain words."

With files from Michelle Ghoussoub