TORONTO - The February 28, 2023, meeting of the York Region Catholic District School Board (YRCDB) may yet turn to be a seminal event in the erosion of the Catholic schools system in Ontario.
For now, it appears to indicate that the latest step in the secularization , anti-Catholic, woke movement may have “poked the bear”. The prompt would have seem minor enough at first: the Ontario Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA, the teachers’ Union) was distributing and displaying in their classrooms “stickers” declaring them a “safe space”.
The terminology has come to be interpreted as it’s ok to be non- heterosexual – even in Catholic schools. OECTA has no legal authority to initiate educational policy.
Two parent-delegations, accompanied by like-minded supporters, went to express their vehement disapproval of the YRCDSB’s apparent surreptitious preaching of gender ideology in their schools.
Carlo Ravenna, the first delegator, did not mince words. He “[found] it disgraceful” that the YRCDSB had “turned its back on our faith” and “preaching confusion under the guise of inclusivity” (see his full intervention in the video below).
He cited the examples of the self-identified transgender teacher, the breast prosthetics user, in Halton DSB whose conduct has resulted in no less than twelve school lockdowns and bomb threats sometimes numbering twenty per day. He added the example of the young lad in Renfrew Catholic District School Board whose objections to male students identifying as female so that they could use the girls’ washrooms earned him an expulsion and two arrests, as examples of the outcomes of such directions.
Mr. Ravenna referenced the practice of [Phys Ed] teachers at St. Joan of Arc H.S. who are “pushing the use of puberty blockers” for children who may be confused about their sexuality as “disgusting and abusive”. Further, he said, allowing LGBTQ students to hold meetings in the school chapel is a reflection of “abuse” and an effort to “brainwash” the children placed in the Board’s care.
His supporters cheered roundly.
The second delegator, Sheree Di Vittorio, stressed that the religious component of the schools was being cast aside to promote sexual practices contrary to the bible and Church teachings. She pointed to the fact that the schools were setting aside Scriptures “in the name of inclusion”. She said, [our] “children have a right to their innocence” (see her full intervention in the video below).
Supporters in the public gallery were loud and tumultuous in their support. Shouts of “shame” and “resign” were audible. The Chair felt compelled to recess the meeting for 5-10 minutes.
In the interim, the local police were called in to disperse the crowd and compel them to vacate the building. Several sources claimed that OECTA representatives originated the call. E-mail messages to the president, Mike Totten went unanswered.
A spokesperson for the YRCDSB, Mark Brosens, was “not able to dispel or confirm the allegations”. He did provide a written statement outlining the Board’s position on the event (here: Statement from the York Catholic District School Board re_ February 28, 2023 Regular Board Meeting), pointing out that the Board has an “Operations element” and a “Board of Trustees” element. The trustees apparently were unaware of any of this prior to the meeting.
They are now.
In the pic above, a moment of the meeting