EDMONTON (CITYNEWS) – Several dozen people gathered in support of Una Momolu, after her son refused to remove a durag at an Edmonton Catholic School last month.
Momolu said her son Emmelle was asked to remove a durag he wore to Christ The King School due to gang affiliations.
“I don’t know what to feel, I just don’t like racism and I want it to end and I want the rule to be gone,” said Emmelle.
“It means so much”
Rally tonight in front of catholic school hq in dt #Yeg for young black student told to remove his Durag at school. More on @CityNewsYEG pic.twitter.com/iE5jWYhvEZ
— Darcy Ropchan (@darcyropchan) October 18, 2019
When Emmelle refused, Momolu was called in and told her son would not be able to return to class. Momolu eventually met with the school’s principal asking for an apology. That’s when the school said the conversation escalated and the principal hit the panic button and police were called. Momolu was banned from the school.
“I want an apology, I want discrimination to stop, I want racism to stop (…) we belong here,” Momolu said during Thursday night’s rally. “I want rules changed I want our cultural identity to be recognized, we don’t want our identity to be erased that continues to happen (…) in a systematic way and enough is enough.”
On Tuesday, the school sent a response to City News.
“On September 23 the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) was called to Christ the King Elementary/Junior High School because of a disturbance at the school. Earlier that month, on September 12th, a Grade 6 student was asked to remove a durag, as it contravenes that ‘no caps, bandanas or hats’ are allowed in the school. On September 23rd, the student’s mother came to the school for a meeting as she did not agree with the decision by the Principal. The conversation and conduct of the mother quickly escalated and police were called. EPS responded to the school and while observing her conduct, asked the Principal how long the mother should be banned from the school. The EPS then escorted the mother out of the school and the mother has now been banned by the school for the rest of the school year because of her conduct. The issue of race had no bearing on the actions taken and was NEVER part of the discussion. After a thorough review of the incident, the Edmonton Catholic School Division is confident in the actions and decisions made by the Principal and will not be making any additional comments.”
Here is the updated statement from the school: pic.twitter.com/gHq09ThBse
— Rachelle Elsiufi (@CityRachelle) October 17, 2019
When asked if she regretted anything she said or did at the time Momolu said “I’m a concerned parent and I have that right to be concerned and if I have a complaint I believe I should be heard by those who are responsible to take care of my child for the eight hours that I’m away, so no I do not regret anything.”
Since the incident Momolu said she has been trying to move her son to another school, with no luck.