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Shelburne high school shifts to remote learning amid 'racially motivated' incident

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High school students with Centre Dufferin District High School (CDDHS) in Shelburne shifted to remote learning on Friday amid "recent tensions."

Heather Loney, with the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB), told CTV News a racially-charged fight broke out between students on school property on Monday and was "precipitated by the use of anti-Black racist language."

"There is no place for hate and racism at CDDHS," Principal Adam Rowden wrote in a message posted on the school's website following the incident.

Loney said staff received information about a "potential general threat involving our school" on Thursday, indicating it would be carried out on Friday.

"We immediately reported this to police, who began investigating."

The school's website noted the investigation had not "substantiated any potential threat."

Mayor Wade Mills issued a statement saying council is "troubled" by the recent reports from the high school.

Mills said the situation was being handled as an internal school matter with ongoing investigations.

"Regardless of what the investigations conclude, let us state unequivocally that there is no place for racism or violence of any kind in our schools. These institutions must be safe, inclusive and positive places for all students and staff, and we all have a part to play in ensuring that," the mayor added.

With Friday being the last instruction day for students, Loney said, "being aware of the emotional toll and concerns students have about the events of this past week, we made the decision to deliver classes remotely."

Next week, students will attend exams as scheduled.

"However, we have notified all families that should any student feel they need an extension or an alternate time to write their exams, they may make those arrangements," Loney added.

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