Bands pull students out of Fort High

Fort Frances Bulletin
Friday, February 15, 2008

At least four First Nations bands have pulled their students from Fort Frances High
School over a “racist” video involving a half-dozen non-native female students that ended up on the Internet.

One source told the Times late this morning that the video depicted the female students dancing to the sounds of a pow-wow while holding bottles of liquor.

The video apparently first surfaced on “Facebook,” the source said.

The roughly two-minute long video depicted the non-native female students dancing to the sounds of a pow-wow while acting drunk and holding liquor bottles.

The six students—all members of the Muskie girls’ hockey team—were kicked off the squad prior to Friday’s regular-season finale in Kenora.

Fort High principal Gord McCabe would not confirm Tuesday morning that the girls also have been suspended from school, saying only that they had been “disciplined.”

Jack McMaster, director of education for the Rainy River District School Board, said he met with two groups Tuesday morning and that they were working to resolve the situation after at least four First Nations bands pulled their students from the high school on Friday.

It’s believed most First Nations students returned to classes Tuesday.

In the meantime, the OPP would like to remind young people and their families of the need to understand the reach of technology.

Creating a video and uploading it to an Internet forum can have many consequences, police said in a press release issued Friday afternoon. And once a video or picture is on the Internet, it is virtually impossible to get it back.

Young people also need to understand their actions have consequences and that in particular cases, certain behaviours are inappropriate and can be very hurtful to others, police added.

Police said they will continue to monitor the situation and work with school officials to address any concerns.