OECTA declares war on the YCDSB

TORONTO – The Catholic teachers union OECTA declares war on its members’ employer: the York Catholic District School Board. The president of the York Catholic Teachers, Mike Totten, has in fact sent a very harsh letter to trustee Frank Alexander, “guilty” – according to Totten – of having presented a motion, being discussed at today evening’s board of trustees, to overcome the divisions caused, in recent months, by requests to fly flags in YCDSB schools other than those recognized by all, in particular the one of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.  

In his motion (here below), Alexander lists the “unitarian” flags that should be flown in schools: the Canadian flag, the Ontario flag, the municipal flag and, possibly, the school flag and the Vatican flag, since these are Catholic schools. The intention of the motion, as stated in the text proposed by Alexander, is to bring back “unity and peace” within the YCDSB, after the heated controversy of recent months relating to the symbols that the 2SLGBTQIA+ community tried to introduce into Catholic schools with a view to inclusiveness of people who, according to the community itself, are “marginalized”.

An initiative, the one by Alexander, which the OECTA of York really does not like: and so its president, Totten, sent the letter to Alexander (here below), effectively inviting him to withdraw the movement immediately, in threatening tones: “I urge you to immediately withdraw the proposed motion, or be prepared to be held accountable for your actions”, writes Totten at the end of the letter in which he speaks of “homophobia” and “transphobia” in Catholic schools.

In a similar tone is another letter that Pflag Canada York Region sent to all YCDSB trustees ahead of today’s meeting. According to the association, Alexander’s motion represents “an act of faith-based colonialism” and will contribute to “further isolating marginalized communities”. The trustees are therefore invited by the president of the association, Tristan Coolman, author of the letter, to vote against Alexander’s motion.