The reign of, and by, the insane in school boards
TORONTO – Someone is, as they say, “on a mission”. It remains unclear what the end goal is. If you have children or grand children in a school system in Ontario these last three years have not been very rewarding from an academic and cultural perspective.
First, the number of absences and school closures due to Covid seems to have outnumbered the in-presence attendance. Anecdotal reports regarding the so-called “hybrid learning” suggest it was poorly crafted and haphazardly applied. Unsurprisingly, even the Minister was compelled to insist that students need to be in school.
Why? If Toronto schools are any indication, since September, the news is all about on-premises bullying, physical aggression (often accompanied by weaponry) including sexual assault, fight clubs etc. including police shut downs of several schools. Yesterday, there was a now all-too-common shooting at Weston Collegiate.
How commonplace is this? In Halton (not Toronto), the police have been compelled to shut down Oakville Trafalgar High School no less than twelve times because of bomb threats. The cause is the presence of a transgendered person who insists on wearing beachball prosthetic breasts her new-found sexuality.
International press and news agencies have heaped scorn and ridicule on Canada. Parents decry the ineptitude of the administration and the obvious inconsistency in requiring observance of a “dress code” by students but not by teachers.
Neither the school, nor the school board’s senior staff, nor Board of Trustees seem capable of grasping the inanity inherent in the picture. The concept of “decorum” in a class, in a school or in a business environment seems “alien” to them. Their oft-repeated refrain is that they adhere to the Human Rights Code.
Last night (February 15) they finally got around to considering the issue “publicly” in the context of a report by the Director. Keep in mind that Oakville is one of the “wealthiest” cities in Ontario, and whose citizens boast a level of academic achievement to match.
On the face of the conduct of the Chair and the proceedings of the Board of trustees (livestreamed for those unable to attend in person), a “sanitized” Halton does not seem to be afflicted with the disease of openness. The Chair shut down the meeting at the slightest display of public disapproval.
Imagine, the first public delegator – a transgender woman, Julia Malott (in the pic above, from HDSB’s YouTube channel) – , protested that the Board would not let her read a prepared statement unless first edited and approved by the Chair/Board. She argued for a dress code whose decorous display would observe the gender of he/she who might wear it. It seems she might have agreed that anything else might represent a denigrating ridicule of the wearer and disrespectful of students looking to teachers as role models. Nothing to do with Human Rights.
The next two speakers, appeared to do their best to be deferential, wanting – they protested – only to get some answers and to ascertain who would be responsible and accountable for their concerns as parents of their children in Halton’s schools?
The bafflegab that passed for answers were all about how religious Halton is in observing their interpretation of obligations under the Human Rights Code and making schools “safe places” for families to raise their children. No mention of the twelve “lockdowns” the police imposed because of the public reaction to he/she of greatly exaggerated, oversized breasts. Nor why parents cannot get an answer to what seen to be simple questions.
What emerged was one issue of significance to explain the dilemma – the “admission” that there are in fact two (2) boards in Halton: the board of trustees and the [operational] board comprised of senior administrative staff.
The Vice-Chair, speaking on behalf of her colleague trustees explained that “policies” emanating from provincial legislation were beyond the jurisdiction of the Board of Trustees; matters touching on “personnel matters” were purely within the purview of the operational board.
Both answer directly to the deputy minister, Nancy Naylor, and the Minister Stephen Lecce. Until they give the go ahead, expect censorship.