A human rights complaint involving a white teacher wearing blackface makeup cost Island taxpayers more than $34,000 in legal costs before it was finally settled.
French Language School Board chair Robert Maddix said the board was happy with how things were handled and while apologies were made after the incident, a third party later filed the complaint.
"We had taken the matter seriously at the time and we always do," he said.
A request to the Finance Department under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Act (FOIPP) showed the almost six-year-long complaint settlement process cost the province $33,843.75.
That money came from the taxpayer funded provincial Self-Insurance and Risk Management Fund.
Noel Ayangma, who filed the complaint, wasn't given any financial compensation and told The Guardian he didn't request any.
The complaint stemmed from a staff meeting in March 2007 at École Francois Buote in Charlottetown during which a video was shown of a white teacher in blackface.
Although the staff member who was the target of what was referred to as a spoof later said she was satisfied with apologies from the three teachers involved, Ayangma filed the human rights complaint.
He filed the complaint on March 20, 2007 and it was only resolved last month with an apology posted on the French Language School Board's website.
Along with the apology, the school board will hold education sessions as part of the settlement.
When it came to deciding on a settlement, Maddix said the province's risk management group handled that part of the complaint before taking any resolution to the school board for final approval.
"With the resolution, at the end of the day, we do have to agree or disagree," he said.
As for how long it took to resolve the complaint, Maddix said he thought it was a process that can take time.
"We dealt with it as efficiently as possible to our board," he said.
The complaint wasn't the only one against the French Language School Board in recent years that was resolved with a legal bill for the province.
A complaint by Aritho Amfoubalela, a Congolese teacher who alleged racism at École Évangeline, cost the province almost $229,000 to fight.
But in that case, while all the parties involved eventually settled, the details of the agreement were never made public.
Ayangma said in his case, there was a resolution long before the board issued its apology, but he wouldn't agree to it until it was made public.
"I said it had to be published," he said.