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Ontario College of Teachers
Meddling in Constitutional Affairs

TORONTO – This is the week when newly elected trustees engage in two very important exercises.

First, they swear an oath to “the Crown” and to the applicable [to their jurisdiction] laws of the land. If they have been elected to a Catholic Board, they are also legally, ethically and morally obligated to swear allegiance to the Magisterium which determines the definition of the Catholic ethic and values.

Secondly, they engage in “horse trading” (reciprocal support) for the positions of prestige and additional remuneration as Chair, Vice-Chair of the Board and Committees thereof, and to represent the Board to other public bodies. These also come with some “goodies” attached.

Those “goodies” tend to distort reality. Trustees have a central role in the implementation of parental wishes [rights] for the education and formation of their children. These include, but are not limited to, the mechanical skills of “reading, writing and arithmetic” and the social-cultural factors that contribute to good citizenship.

Make no mistake: they neither invent the curriculum nor do they interpret the magisterium’s ideology and philosophy for what constitutes Catholicism. Both authorities are imbedded in the Constitution to jurisdictions that do not include school boards. No school board or trustee trumps parental rights.

Part of this principle lies at the heart of the debate regarding gender ideology, identity and affirmation. Several school boards and their trustees have taken an extremely leftist position on the issue of “gender identity” (British authorities have recognized more than seventy, although as of last year Facebook had reduced the number to fifteen). More traditional school boards continue to respect the biological identifiers at birth.

But not all. The Halton District School Board recently found itself in the eye of a political storm when a (male?) teacher decided to wear [what look like] gigantic breast prosthetics and latex shorts under a miniskirt to class. Apparently, students cannot do the same, but the Board stands by the teacher. The Professional body governing teachers (Ontario College of Teachers) has not yet pronounced itself on the appropriateness of such professional conduct.

In the Toronto Catholic District School Board, under the guidance of a careerist, woke, Director, some trustees have run amok in their persecution of their less woke colleagues. They seem to have focused on Michael Del Grande, a former Chair of the Board as well as former Deputy Mayor and Budget Chief at Toronto City Hall.

That Director, a former superintendent in the Toronto District (Public) School Board appears determined to secularize the TCDSB and to diminish the role of Catholicism in the system. He is aided by his Communications Director, Shazia Vlahos, who sat on the Board of Directors of 519 Church Street Community Centre, even as Del Grande was being excoriated for supporting the Catholic views on education he sworn to uphold and promote, in 2018 and every year thereafter as required by law.

That Community Centre is the seat of a lobby group that receives at least $2 million annually in public monies to advance issues that run counter to the religious ethic of Catholic schools.

Two weeks ago, Del Grande was finally in Court to defend his rights as an individual and as an elected official on matters of procedure, administrative law and fairness. No matter what the outcome, the malice being vented on Del Grande will not be over.

At the Court, the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) populated the audience of 34 cast of members (judges, Court officials, parties to the case and people like the undersigned who expressed an interest as “observers”) with no less than five of their own lawyers/investigators.

The Corriere has been conducting its own research into the reasons for the OCT’s interest. We will publish our findings over the next editions. They do not shed a pleasant light on the teaching profession or its governing body. During that research, we reached out, without response, to the OCT, the individuals and complainants (unnamed) on whom the OCT purports to rely for their actions.

That is for next week. Suffice it to say that parents are rallying to ensure that some of the trustees referenced above recuse themselves from the vote for Chair because, in their view, should Del Grande win the resulting consequences will surely result in Issues of Breach of Trustee Code of Conduct and charges of Conflict of Interest.

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