Mass absenteeism protesting the flag

TORONTO – The York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB) decision to uphold its longstanding policy regarding flags and procedures for changing Board policies, prompted a series of responses in the Golden Horseshoe and beyond. 

What follows is a commentary about life’s ironies. If you, as a reader, feel associated with events or personalities mentioned and are offended, turn the page.

The emergence of “squadristi” lobbyists, supported by police intervention to prove a point, is a new acceptable tactic in modern debate. Why?

When did “teachers”, employees hired to execute the legal vision statement of their employer, usurp the right of parents to expect input into what is taught to their children? Mike Totten and fellow thugs at OECTA decided to issue directives running counter to the decision and encouraging open defiance… because ‘he will take care of it’. He still has a job.

Parents who have made efforts to delegate have had “research teams” from the lobbyists discover their places of employment and subsequently call for their dismissal. One imagines there is no economic negative consequence to their children. Maybe OECTA will launch a province-wide fundraising campaign to support families and their children disadvantaged by their “squadristi” actions.

People who voluntarily enroll their children in a Catholic school system presumably do so because they expect a particular ideology and environment to prevail. “Teachers” explicitly and implicitly agree to respect both as a condition of employment. The director of education in every board, Catholic, or non, is hired by the Board of Trustees for a particular district to follow their vision statement.

No trustee, as far as we can determine, campaigned to subvert the Constitutional arrangement (the Constitution Act (or for that matter, the Education Act, the Charter, and the Hunan Rights Code), as it pertains to the jurisdiction and authorities in respect of school boards and the parents they serve.

Teachers and Directors are not free to impose their interpretations on it and the denominational rights conferred. In fact, The Chair of the Board of Trustees, Frank Alexander, was clear about the consequential obligations. Yet, the Director, Domenic Scuglia, still has a job. He flew to Saskatchewan on an unauthorized junket with Trustee Crowe.

Frank Alexander was disheartened that documentation presented to the Board pointed to inaction by Staff (Administrative and educational) on action items and strategies to bring about measurable change in student performance and behaviour. Flying a flag other than the Canadian was not one of those action items. “Outsiders” thought differently.

Readers called the Corriere to say those “outsiders” should have tended to their own garden. Seven Federal [Liberal] MPs issued a letter “tut-tut[ing]” the Board for fulfilling their constitutional obligation.

A former Premier, whose personal concepts of sexuality and family do not align with Catholic values, weighed in with disapproval of the YCDSB on a twitter feed. The avalanche of criticism towards the tactic reached stratospheric levels.

The Minister of Education also offered his own contrasting views. They prompted a torrent of observations regarding his own admitted participation in university clubs where “slave auctions” and questionable sexual practices were the rule of the day.

A couple of trustees from the TCDSB decided to hector their colleagues in York, taking pains to diss the religious interpretation of their Catholic values as well as those upheld by Bishops whose job it is to make those interpretations.

Schools everywhere in the Golden Horseshoe experienced mass absenteeism to protest the flying of the flag. One Toronto paper reported that some schools reported absences in the 30-40% range. A principal, speaking on condition of anonymity, commented that the bigger problem is presented by principals, vice-principals and teachers who are refusing to work in this “anything goes” environment. Retired teachers and administrators are being called in to fill the gap.

In Southwest Ontario, parents and officials who attended Rosary recitals as part of their support for the Truth and Reconciliation “Agreements negotiated by the aboriginal Leadership and the Pope”, found themselves barricaded away from the School Board’s parking lot and ushered away by the police because the Lobbyists had expressed concern for their own safety.

May was Polish Heritage month. June is Italian Heritage month (in Ontario as per Bill 103, 2010 and in the House of Commons, as per unanimous Motion, 2017), Portuguese Heritage month and Filipino Heritage month. No flags; no police; no absenteeism. No problems. Why is that?