English Articles

OECTA usurps
parental rights in York
…goodbye trustees

TORONTO – One of our readers, Jean-Richard Pelland, sent us a comment about our article “OECTA ‘gender ideologues’ cast a pall over the YCDSB“, published on line on 29th March and on the newspaper on 30th March. We publish, below, his comment and the Publisher’s reply.

(Re: OECTA gender ideologues…) When you start disparaging the hard-working union leaders with grossly inappropriate epithets like “thugs”, you reveal your deep bias against working people and lose any pretense of journalistic integrity. Our schools need to be welcoming and safe places for all students. Also, check your spelling; you have both “Alexander” and “Alexandre”.

Jean-Richard Pelland

Publisher’s Comment:

Thank you. Our Copy editor made the correction to Mr. Alexander’s name.

The substantive issue in question was/is the usurping of jurisdiction, perceived or real, by unionists who have no legal authority to make policy decisions for the school board or to make life decisions for students without the approval of parents. Or, in a Catholic system, without the engagement of the magisterium, as per the Law.

Moreover, neither OECTA specifically, nor teachers in general have any standing under Sec. 93 of the Constitution Act, or under the Education Act to do what they foisted onto staff and, arguably, the Director and trustees.

Neither of latter, by the Director’s own written “clarifications”, had received prior notice or permission by their employees to take the schools in the board in the direction they decided to force upon an unsuspecting parent community.

Those employees would have been better advised to encourage fellow teachers (“education workers”) to fulfill their duties as employees. Instead, they chose to place their “employers” – Administration and Trustees – in a position to choose the option of abdicating their duty to parents so as to avoid “conflict” with rogue teachers.

Until you contradicted our perception, we held  the view that teachers were members of a “professional body”. As to my personal “bias” regarding working people, it will not impress you to learn that my working-class experience ran the full gamut from bus-boy, to factory worker, to construction work, to truck driving, to classroom instructor etc. In the process, I was a participating member of the Teamsters, OSSTF, OECTA – staff rep in both associations/federations. I learned to distinguish between aggressiveness and thuggery and how to allocate the appropriate descriptor accordingly.

As to our journalistic integrity, Corriere staff prides itself on searching out the facts, double checking them, giving any named individuals the opportunity to present their side of the issue, directly or through a recognized spokesperson.

Your Mr. Totten did not return requests for comment by e-mail, following the February 28, meeting when he allegedly called the local police to “break-up” legitimate parent delegations.

When I approached him live, at the Board meeting of March 27 (where he surrounded himself with some 50 badge-wearing members of the gender-diverse community, he refused to answer and walked away. I advised him that such actions would be construed as weaking whatever value might have been contained in his position.

Meanwhile, the police and Board security did their utmost to keep an equal number of parents who had come to support a different delegator away from Totten and his group.

One guesses that OECTA runs the school board: Senior staff and Trustees appear to be complicit. The diocese is timid, at best, in defense of the denominational rights it is supposed to defend and promote.

In the pic above, YCDSB (photo by Corriere Canadese)

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