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YCDSB “woke”, Catholic parent censured by the Board: here’s the speech she won’t be allowed to read

TORONTO – There is chaos at the York Catholic District School Board, where a real tug of war is underway between parents who do not want their children – still at an early age – to be subjected, “under the guise of inclusiveness”, to pressure on sexual orientations and the Board itself which, with trustees and teaching staff, goes in the exact opposite direction and wants to support initiatives in favor of the LGBTQ+ community. In the meeting of 28 February, two parents, Carlo Ravenna and Sheree Di Vittorio, expressed their concerns on the matter (“our children have the right to their innocence”, they said) and a climate of tension was created which culminated with the arrival of the police. Another meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, with four speeches (two for each “party”): Sheree herself had asked to be able to speak but was denied this possibility. Corriere Canadese asked her to send to the editorial office the speech she would have read and it will be published in tomorrow’s printed edition of the Italian newspaper. Here below is the speech in its entirety. 

To start off my presentation tonight, I want to clarify a statement I made during the previous board meeting on February 28th. When I said that gay students should not be allowed to attend Catholic schools, I misspoke and it was not my intention to suggest that they are unwelcome. I meant to highlight that only Catholic students who share similar values and beliefs are accepted by Catholic school boards. This is evident from my niece’s experience with the Peel Catholic district school board where she was denied admission because she was not Catholic but Coptic Orthodox. I must stress that it was not my intention to cause distress. It was simply a poor choice of words.

I love all humans equally.

I rarely use the word “hate” to describe my feelings towards things. However, I must admit that I am starting to detest the current state of this world we live in. While I do not harbor any negative feelings towards the LGBTQ+ community, I do feel that their rights seem to supersede those of my child’s. Similarly, I harbour no contempt for transgenders as individuals but I do feel that their insistence on using female-only spaces is invasive.

The promotion of a pride sticker by the YCDSB and OECTA suggests a particular political agenda, which warrants examination. Concern about alleged incidents of bullying directed at the LGBTQ+ community within schools has been raised. However, when requesting specific information on the actual number of such reports, it was communicated to me that the data is currently confidential and not publicly available. Despite clarifying that only the number of incidents was desired, the same response was given. The lack of transparency and information provided by the board concerning alleged incidents and this extreme ad campaign of using stickers to promote political agendas, raises necessary questions about their motives.

In addition, OECTA has been fostering division through their actions. For instance, the union organized a private event which was held earlier today (some days ago, ed.) only for the LGBTQ+ alliance without offering similar opportunities for other members. Moreover, the OECTA has been using social media to propagate their stance against hate and homophobia by pointing towards parents as the culprits. And also by arbitrarily calling the police to the last board meeting, despite no crime being committed. This incident was then reported to CBC, where board members were able to provide their own commentary, but parents who attended the meeting were not afforded the same privilege. Consequently, the tension generated led to a biased article by CBC that resulted in a barrage of negative comments online directed at myself and Carlo Ravena. The board failed to properly redact my private information, leaving me even more vulnerable to public scrutiny. The reaction to the situation was so extreme that I was fired from my job, and my status as a single mother made the situation even more dire.

Despite facing opposition from relevant individuals, including the Archbishop of Toronto and Cardinal Collins, who have explicitly expressed their disapproval of such stickers, the union and its members are vehemently insisting they remain.

A petition was also signed by 366 parents, calling for the replacement of it with an inclusive alternative, and was recently removed for violating community guidelines.

Tim Laliberte, Superintendent, relayed to me that the Bishop had been consulted about the current sticker and had given his approval, noting that it aligned with the Pope’s stance. However, upon further investigation, I found that the Bishop had not made any such comment and the Pope himself can be quoted saying: “Gender ideology, today, is one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations,” (which is what this sticker represents).

I strongly believe that this issue is politically driven and that the pressure being placed on parents to accept a particular viewpoint is unacceptable, given that all individuals have the right to express their religious beliefs.

It’s unfortunate that individuals advocating for their Catholic beliefs and parental authority are being publicly criticized, ridiculed & denounced as “transphobic” and “hateful” by the board and its union members. It’s imperative that such behaviour be discontinued immediately. It is vital to maintain freedom to speak out and defend one’s beliefs passionately, peacefully and respectfully.

It is possible to want inclusivity for everybody and equality for all, while minding individual needs. This is not a one-size-fits-all type of agenda.

And we really are not speaking from a place of hatred, we are here because the truth is the greatest gift we can give each other. The truth makes room for trust and without trust we have nothing. As parents, we have lost confidence in the institutions that are meant to guide, protect, and educate our children. We have placed our trust in you to uphold the teachings of Christ. Therefore, as Catholic trustees and board members it is your duty to ensure that the principles of Christ are maintained in our schools and children are protected from exposure to sexual ideologies.

The sticker gives the impression that only LGBTQ individuals are entitled to a safe space. Catholic schools are an extension of the church, and we must be mindful of the difficult task of discussing sexual topics at the elementary level. We must avoid confusing the subject of sexual anatomy with sexual preferences. It is inappropriate for adults to engage in discussions of sexual preferences with minors, and constitutes a misuse of power.

As all our students are minors, it is important to remain in your lane and avoid straying into such sensitive territory.

Catholicism and parental rights are being threatened, and we are not the minority, even though others may suggest otherwise.

I am not a homophobe.

I am simply trying to shield my child from any sexual ideologies, both gay and straight. She is a minor who has a right to a normal and innocent childhood.

I’m not a STAKEHOLDER. I am a mother. EQUITY is not and will never be the same as EQUALITY.

My child will NEVER be a “global citizen” and this school board is infringing upon our religious beliefs by suffocating our children with woke political agendas & indoctrinations when they should be focusing on educating our kids!

Once again I strongly recommend the removal of these particular stickers. I will 100% support stickers that promote safe spaces for all humans but it is discriminatory to promote safe spaces for only LGBTQ individuals.

Thank you,

Sheree Di Vittorio

HERE THE PREVIOUS ARTICLE ABOUT 28th FEBRUARY MEETING: York Region parents push back on woke agenda in schools: police called to disperse them

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