Balfour Collegiate students walk out against teacher who made alleged offensive remarks

At exactly 1:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon, over 100 students marched out through the front doors of Balfour Collegiate to protest against alleged words from a teacher at their school.

Some of the students took, what they are calling ‘an injustice’, to the streets following alleged insensitive comments made from one of their teacher’s regarding days that are designated for Indigenous peoples such as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) Day held on May 5th.

Students are quoted saying the teacher in question was making a mockery of the entire day, calling it “stupid.”

According to previous interviews with a Balfour Collegiate student, Nina McGillis was shocked when she heard the alleged comments from the teacher.

“He was basically just making a mockery of the entire day, calling it stupid and dumb (and said) that we shouldn’t even have this day,” she said. “A lot of students (were) getting upset with him.”

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On May 27, 2022, a Grade 12 student along with her peers organized a march where students were carrying signs, chanting ‘we want justice’ with handprints painted on their faces and had worn red shirts to symbolize the color that represents violence against MMIW.

The turnout was something that organizer did not believe would have a huge impact.

Read more: Balfour Collegiate students upset at teacher’s remarks on MMIW Day in Regina

“It just felt like we were all coming together (to) finally talk about one issue that we all need to talk about once in awhile and acknowledge,” said Abby Crowe.

The students took a stand to have their voices heard as they marched around the block where they blocked traffic on the intersection of College Avenue and Winnipeg Street.

“This issue is bigger than Balfour (Collegiate),” said Crowe. “Since it happened, we’re going to support it and talk about it.”

Read more: Families and Indigenous leaders gather in Regina for Red Dress Day

The self-identified Indigenous student organized the event following alleged comments made from one of the teachers on Indigenous proclaimed days such as MMIW Day which is commemorated May 5th every year.

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Balfour Collegiate student Kiana Reitmeier says she participated in the school walk-out to support the cause behind the student-led event.

“I’m supporting the cause of MMIW, racism and making our school a better place,” she said. “No matter if (the students) are Indigenous or person of colour; it doesn’t matter, just for everyone to feel safe coming to school.”

The walk-out stemmed after the school participated in Moose Hide Campaign Day held nationwide on May 12, 2022. It’s a grassroots-led movement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous men and boys who are standing up against violence towards women and children.

Students said the school stopped classes that day to learn about the campaign. Crowe said it was supposed to be a day of learning. However, some students had claimed to hear alleged comments described as insensitive made from a teacher who did not understand the meaning behind days dedicated to Indigenous peoples.

Global News contacted the Regina Public School Division for a comment but they offered no comment. Global News has reached out to the teacher in question, but has not received a response.

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Balfour Collegiate students upset at teacher’s remarks on MMIW Day in Regina

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