TORONTO - My phobia – not gender specific - is that idiots may be running the Catholic school board in Toronto (TCDSB). Unfortunately, other Catholic schools outside the City proper may end up suffering the consequence of reputational damage.
Schools exist as a consequence of “forward-looking” public policy enshrined in our Constitution, legislated in the Education Act, and administered through Regulations and local school boards. Education has become a Big business. It provides employment for tens of thousands of people directly and indirectly. It is an important economic generator.
However, it is, and always has been, about the children.
In Catholic schools, educators are expected to treat their careers as more than a job – as a vocation, a calling. The local Bishop (the Cardinal in TCDSB) has sole jurisdiction Constitutionally, and in Canon law, over the religious curriculum and the qualifications of those delivering it – including trustees who swear an oath of allegiance to that curriculum and its “administrator” as a condition of office.
The TCDSB claims it houses 92,000 students, although the number was 89,000 last year and projected to decrease to 86,000 this year, for two reasons primarily: Federal immigration policies seem to exclude immigrants from Catholic source countries; and, demographically, Canadians are no longer providing children at a rate to replace themselves. The numbers are important for several reasons.
The first, naturally, are the roughly $12,000 in grants (from the Province) associated with each student (for instructional purposes) combined with an additional approximately 20% allocated for capital construction and repair. Educational levies charged to developers (EDC) by Boards with capacity shortages are another source of income.
This year, the parents of 23,000 TCDSB students have, so far, decided to take their children out of the schools and place them in a remote learning environment. That number represents at least 25% of all its students. The organizational chaos in that educational environment must have its enemies gloating with delight.
At last count, 35 middle managers opted for stress/sick leave; classroom composition changes daily; supply teachers are in class more often than the assigned teachers; teachers are opting for the online learning school (St. Anne’s Academy); Superintendents are in a legal squabble with the Board over bonuses they feel are owed to them by virtue of the inflated numbers above.
Sanitization and school cleanliness appear to function on the “selfserve” gas station model. Spread of Covid-19 concerns are threatening to shut the schools down. It is just a question of timing.
But the TCDSB, or rather Trustees Rizzo, De Domenico, Li Preti and Di Pasquale are all in a rage over public’s perception of how the Catholic system views those who engage in sexual practices inconsistent with Church doctrine. Shocking. That perception is nurtured and fomented by radical LBGQT2+ activists, Kyle Iannuzzi, Paolo De Buono, Nicole Richard and their three other friends who pollute social media with outrageous allegations of homophobia and negative depictions of the Catholic milieu to all who are foolish enough to want to listen.
Richard professes to have garnered petitions signed by hundreds of “troubled” citizens. She does not elaborate that they are the product of collection by an organization that specializes in producing 0nline signatories from around the world – no actual signatures. On examining the list, a mere handful are from Toronto – no indication that they were indeed Catholic ratepayers.
Last November, I witnessed the consignment of close to 3,000 hand-signed petitions supportive of the Catholic curriculum to Rizzo’s assistant. The petition and the assistant disappeared forever. Not so De Buono.
Self-styled “Mr. De Buono” is an LGBTQ2+ radical gadfly for hire. He is a teacher in a TCDSB school who moonlights as a “mediator”. He has launched at least two complaints against the Board and specific trustees for the International languages (IL) program in Toronto. It was/is part of his intimidation game.
On social media, he can be relied upon to denigrate and malign his employer, the TCDSB. He is also close to the vice president of the Toronto English Catholic Teachers union, with which he works to undermine the CUPE local that represents the IL instructors.
Concurrently, he is also working actively with the Ontario College of Teachers to strip Del Grande of a certificate he has never used. Busy, spiteful beaver.
Parents have no protection against such hateful dissemblers. They are determined to take away Constitutional Rights for a Catholic education. Then what? Will the children be better served without that alternative?
Maybe, Del Grande – their convenient “whipping boy” - should convert his developing court action into a Class Action lawsuit. That might get the attention of the “holier than thou” brigade.
A crowdfunding campaign has begun to bring civil proceedings against those involved in this charade: www.wonderwe.com/StandWithMike
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