Boards should reject awakened diversity


If you’re looking for a growing industry to build your long-term career, become an equity officer or diversity consultant. Many organizations want to uncheck the “Diversity” checkbox when hiring new employees.

This is especially true for the school board. For example, the Toronto School District Board of Education (TDSB) has an entire “equity and inclusive school” team dedicated to promoting diversity.

If you want to evaluate TDSB’s commitment to diversity based on its appearance, you need to give the board an A +. However, it can be fooled by its appearance. A nifty declaration is one thing, but a concrete action is another.

Suppose your school’s reading club wants to feature two books. One was written by a successful female lawyer and the other was written by a Nobel laureate and human rights activist. TDSB’s equity and inclusive school team may find it an opportunity to highlight two female role models.

Sadly, that didn’t happen. The event in the first book was initially rejected because author Marie Hennein defended someone accused of sexual assault during a famous trial. Even stranger, the TDSB refused to feature the Nobel Prize-winning Nadia Murad’s book because it mistakenly assumed it would promote Islamophobia.

When the so-called equity officer cannot distinguish between Islamic State and Islam, we know that things are not on track. The fact that even sex offenders do not understand that everyone has the right to a fair trial with a lawyer is even more annoying.

To make matters worse, the TDSB allows staff to openly disseminate anti-Israeli propaganda. For example, earlier this year, one of its stock officials was temporarily suspended for blaming Israeli apartheid and disseminating material in support of a boycott, withdrawal of investment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

Unfortunately, the suspension did not last long and the employees returned without reprimand. Apparently, TDSB has no problem with its employees publicly attacking the country of Israel during school hours. This is all it takes to promote a safe and comprehensive learning environment for everyone.

In September, a keynote speaker at the TDSB Professional Development Session for Teachers launched an enthusiastic attack on Israel, accusing Israel of being involved in “settler colonialism.” I can only imagine how the Jewish teachers in the audience felt about TDSB’s commitment to so-called diversity.

Earlier this month, a group of high school students from TDSB held a lunchtime rally. During this rally, they put up signs such as “Free Palestine” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and chanted the slogan. These statements are widely understood as demanding the destruction of Israel. Simply put, Israel would not have existed as a Jewish state if the Free Palestinian movement had progressed.

Sadly, instead of blaming the event, the school sent a letter to its parents, whitening it, saying, “These expressions mean different people.” The letter further stated that while some Jews were offended, some Palestinians used these slogans as a way to protect their rights.

Obviously, it is a contradiction to support diversity while blinding to an incident that explicitly targets a group of people. True diversity is incompatible with this kind of hypocrisy.

However, organizations like TDSB do not really believe in diversity and therefore do not see hypocrisy. Instead, TDSB has adopted an awakened version of diversity that sees everything through the lens of class struggle and categorizes people into the categories of oppressed and oppressed.

As a result, the absurdity of the canceled book club event, the only explicit promotion to attack democracy in the Middle East, and lunchtime protests that give a pass to neighboring countries that target one country but have far worse human rights records. finish.

The sad reality of awakened diversity is that it is not diversity at all. In fact, it’s just another way to force an idealistic fit. Instead of gathering people, it divides them and separates them.

TDSBs and other boards of education need to look closely in the mirror. If they really want to promote diversity, they can start by using some common sense and showing basic etiquette to all.

You don’t need a flock of overpriced diversity consultants to teach you how to do that.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Era.

Michael Zwagstra


Michael Zwaagstra is a public high school teacher, senior fellow of the Frontier Center for Public Policy, and author of “A Sage on the Stage: Common Sense Reflections on Teaching and Learning.”