School environments that breed
ignorance and stonecold killers

di Joe Volpe del February 22, 2022

TORONTO - Last week, school communities in North America got two “wake up calls”. The first involved the murder of an eighteen year old student by a fourteen year old shooter, in the hallways of the school they both attend(ed), David and Mary Thompson Collegiate (DMTC), in Toronto, just as classes were being dismissed.

The blame game began immediately, as if on cue. For our part at the Corriere Canadese, our first instinct was to express condolences and sympathies. Which parents would want to send their children to such a school or indeed to such a school board? It’s tough being a child, especially since you have no experience in life and your sense of responsibility is virtually non-existent, except for what the adults around you inculcate.

Perhaps harkening back to days when “merit” ennobled young men and women, DNTC took the motto Nil Sine Magno Labore (you have nothing unless it is earned, usually with great effort) for its school.

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB), of which DNTC is a part, adopted something a little more “mamby-pamby”, and less obliging, as its vision statement: “To enable all students to reach high levels of achievement and well-being and to acquire the knowledge, skills and values they need to become responsible, contributing members of a democratic and sustainable society.” Translated: be the best you can be – but you figure it out.

We should ask Brendan Browne, one of its former Senior Superintendents, how. His Woke ideology allowed him to parlay the “values” he oversaw at TSDB into the top job at the Catholic Board. Catholic schools already have an ethic and purpose enshrined in Constitutionality and Law; it is not the law or religion of wokism. The TCDSB has been in turmoil since his arrival. Probably purely coincidental.

In the second instance, the voters of the most liberal, progressive, State in the USA, California, have expressed their disgust with progressivism and wokism, the new religion of the 21st century. In San Francisco, arguably its most woke city, 70% of the voters who cast a ballot said they have had enough.

In a non-partisan move, their mayor, with the support of a public vote (in which she played a major role), recalled (fired) three educational commissioners (trustees). All the political players are card-carrying Democrats. Virtually all major US newspapers carried the story, via the Associated Press (AP) news feed.

California is no third world state. Its GDP is valued at USD 2.85 trillion, Canada’s at USD 1.75 Trillion. In terms of population, the latest estimates place the State at 39.5 million inhabitants, Canada at 38 million.

In the 1960s and early 1970s, school boards in Ontario were falling over backwards to ape whatever pedagogy and supportive structural innovation emerged from the Golden State. “Open concept” schools – the woke ideology trend of the day - were quite the rage.

Unfortunately, only those schools that applied the more conventional and proven models based on the “Three Rs: reading, [w]‘riting and [a]‘rithmetic” did well. Private schools and schools that aimed for merit- based curriculums experienced a boom in growth.

Educators in the USA would now seem to have caught up to that reality. The mayor of San Francisco, put it this way on her twitter feed:” “The voters of this city have delivered a clear message that the school board must focus on the essentials of delivering a well-run school system above all else," Mayor London Breed, a woman of colour, said in her statement. “San Francisco is a city that believes in the value of big ideas, but those ideas must be built on the foundation of a government that does the essentials well."

Wokist trustees in Halton Catholic, meanwhile, like their colleagues in Toronto, consumed as they are by their cancel culture mentality, are determined to erode the constitutional guarantees and values of the Catholic faith-based system, which has served Catholics well. Director Browne at the TCDSB asked the Minister to allow the Board to avoid testing its children this year, fearing that its students might not even meet the minimum bar.

Excuses. TCDSB announced there were 5,000 fewer students registered in September than they anticipated.

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