OECTA “gender ideologues” cast a pall over the YCDSB
TORONTO – York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB) no longer believes in its own Constitutionally mandated obligation to defend and promote the catholicity of its schools. Both the Director (Domenic Scuglia) and the Chair (Frank Alexander) have ceded responsibility for that to the teachers’ union, OECTA and its local president, a certain Mike Totten.
It is not theirs to abandon. As per the Constitution Act (Section 93), The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Education Act, the Ontario Human Rights Code (sec 19.1) only parents – through the Magisterium, the Pope through his local bishop Boissineau, in this instance – have the authority to make such policy decisions.
The Bishop was nowhere to be seen at Tuesday’s YCDSB meeting. To be kind, Trustees appear divided on the matter of religious policy, although they have no jurisdiction over it. Thugs from the teachers’ union and their allies in the “gender lobby” seemed more than happy to fill the void. Parents frankly did not have a chance.
First, they were practically shut out from the lower and upper gallery of the Board room. Outmanoeuvred by the early flow of gender lobbyists, they were ushered into an overflow room where expressions of their reactions to delegations would be out of earshot. Therefore, only those of the activists (many of them manifestly anti-Catholic) could have an impact on the Trustees.
Secondly, at least four armed Policemen were on hand to keep order and to support an equal number of Board Security officers. They were strategically positioned at the entrance of the overflow room and the doors to the lower gallery where two oversized private security agents “protected” the supports of anti-Board delegators. No need to do so. These delegators, a husband and wife team, were deferential and polite to a fault.
Third, Director Scuglia, whose inaction or connivance, initially permitted the distribution and promotion of stickers and gender-ideological discussions in elementary schools without parent consultation and/or discussion, shut down any debate by declaring this to be an “Operational matter”. Nonsense. Unfortunately, Frank Alexander concurred. Neither of them could point to a Bylaw or a Motion of the Board to support their position. They even apologized for the outbursts of parents at a Board meeting in February.
In fact, the activist gender ideologues were “released” from their seating arrangements only after disappointed parents had left and collected outside the building.
Totten, then emerged from his safe hiding place, seemingly gloating over his victory. As I approached him, politely, to ask a question, he snapped that he would not talk to me. I suggested such a response might weaken any credibility he might try to attribute to his displacement of a parent’s right to know what and why was being taught to their children.
He did not seem to care. Parents are faced with a serious dilemma: neither the Administration of the schools nor the elected Trustees are willing to fulfill their sworn duty. Teachers are behaving like yahoos running amok. What is the difference then between Catholic and Public schools?
When you start disparaging the hard-working union leaders with grossly inappropriate epithets like “thugs”, you reveal your deep bias against working people and lose any pretense of journalistic integrity. Our schools need to be welcoming and safe places for all students. Also, check your spelling; you have both “Alexander” and “Alexandre”.
Thank you. Our Copy editor made the correction to Mr. Alexander’s name.
The substantive issue in question was/is the usurping of jurisdiction, perceived or real, by unionists who have no legal authority to make policy decisions for the school board or to make life decisions for students without the approval of parents. Or, in a Catholic system, without the engagement of the magisterium, as per the Law.
Moreover, neither OECTA specifically, nor teachers in general have any standing under Sec. 93 of the Constitution Act, or under the Education Act to do what they foisted onto staff and, arguably, the Director and trustees.
Neither of latter, by the Director’s own written “clarifications”, had received prior notice or permission by their employees to take the schools in the board in the direction they decided to force upon an unsuspecting parent community.
Those employees would have been better advised to encourage fellow teachers (“education workers”) to fulfill their duties as employees. Instead, they chose to place their “employers” – Administration and Trustees – in a position to choose the option of abdicating their duty to parents so as to avoid “conflict” with rogue teachers.
Until you contradicted our perception, we held the view that teachers were members of a “professional body”. As to my personal “bias” regarding working people, it will not impress you to learn that my working-class experience ran the full gamut from bus-boy, to factory worker, to construction work, to truck driving, to classroom instructor etc. In the process, I was a participating member of the Teamsters, OSSTF, OECTA – staff rep in both associations/federations. I learned to distinguish between aggressiveness and thuggery and how to allocate the appropriate descriptor accordingly.
As to our journalistic integrity, Corriere staff prides itself on searching out the facts, double checking them, giving any named individuals the opportunity to present their side of the issue, directly or through a recognized spokesperson.
Your Mr. Totten did not return requests for comment by e-mail, following the February 28, meeting when he allegedly called the local police to “break-up” legitimate parent delegations.
When I approached him live, at the Board meeting of March 27 (where he surrounded himself with some 50 badge-wearing members of the gender-diverse community, he refused to answer and walked away. I advised him that such actions would be construed as weaking whatever value might have been contained in his position.
Meanwhile, the police and Board security did their utmost to keep an equal number of parents who had come to support a different delegator away from Totten and his group.
One guesses that OECTA runs the school board: Senior staff and Trustees appear to be complicit. The diocese is timid, at best, in defense of the denominational rights it is supposed to defend and promote.
The TCDSB is also running amok, curriculum is not being taught and blatant anti Catholic teachers are not being silenced. The Minister of Education, the Archbishop and TECT appear to be missing in action.