TORONTO - It’s just school board politics, one could say. But not really. There should be no tolerance for narcissistic aggression towards one’s colleagues on a board of directors, especially on school boards.
This Thursday, Trustees in the Toronto Catholic District School Board will choose [in camera, at first] who among them will lead the Board and its creature Committees. Judging by the intensity of the preliminary negotiations, one would think that the Prime Ministerial post is at stake.
These are the people responsible for educating our children, preparing them with the skills they need to succeed in a post-modern economy and prepared to inter-act socially with a sound civic sense of responsibility. In a Catholic board, there is a Constitutionally validated “faith connection” as well.
The Corriere reached out to all trustees. Some responded. We gave them space. Others preferred to go their own route. One of them, an Etobicoke trustee, has attracted negative reactions for his well-documented disdain for things Catholic and for parental concerns that he does not share. He is seeking the Chair and has taken to social media to exert “pressure [on] trustees [… threatening to shame them] on Facebook if they will not vote for him”, says one trustee.
We indicated that yet another referenced specifically that there is an emerging “anybody but” campaign to stop the Etobicoke candidate. Part of the problem is that the vote is supposed to take place in camera so that an element of civility can be maintained. The attached post (above) suggests that he is using his Board resources to intimidate his colleagues by “outing” their in camera decisions. Good for the Press; not so good for the Board.
As one trustee put it in a confidential text message: “we’ve been holding in all [his] attacks and half-truths for a while, and it’s not healthy”. He “has been allowing the shaming of his colleagues [on social media] for a while”.
Meanwhile, a counter group of parents has begun a recruitment process to select candidates who will work to oust the Etobicoke trustee and his supporters from the Board.