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Nova Scotia school closed due to racist graffiti and alleged threats

A school in Monastery, Nova Scotia, was shut down Wednesday as police investigate the discovery of racist graffiti and allegations of threats.

Deanna Gillis, a spokesperson for the Strait Regional School Board, said East Antigonish Education Center / Academy would be closed on the recommendation of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

Racist insults against Aboriginal people and African Nova Scotians were discovered Monday night painted at four locations on a school bus and a sign near the school.

On Wednesday morning, the RCMP announced that it had launched an investigation into allegations made on social media about alleged verbal threats by at least one person to the school.

Corporal Dal Hutchinson, RCMP spokesperson, says the two incidents are reviewed separately, but investigators are trying to determine if they are related.

Chief Paul Prosper of the Mi’kmaq Paqtnkek First Nation was part of a group of people invited to speak to students on Wednesday. He was shocked to learn this morning the closure of the school.

Mr. Prosper believes that the incident does not reflect the attitude of the community at large and is a “very minor exception”.

The East Antigonish Education Center / Academy is open to students from grade one through grade twelve and is attended by Mi’kmaq students.

By midday on Wednesday, it was still too early to know if the classes would resume Thursday. Corporal Hutchinson says there will be a police presence at the reopening of the facility.

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