School boards promoting ‘inclusion’ must practice what they preach


If an award were to be given to the nation’s most dysfunctional school board, the Waterloo Area District School Board (WRDSB) would be a serious contender. Not content with the turmoil and division of the past year, the WRDSB board members seem determined to step up their toxic approach.

On January 16th, concerned parents were represented at the WRDSB board meeting. In his presentation, David Todoru expressed his opposition to the commission’s focus on gender and sexuality and expressed concern about the survey his girls aged 7 and 9 were asked to complete. He also read aloud from a book containing sexually explicit language that he claimed was accessible to his daughters at school.

Whether or not you agree with what Todor said, or the way he said it, there is no doubt that as a parent in this area he had a right to be heard. Given that WRDSB had previously silenced him one of the teachers who raised similar concerns, the fact that Todor was allowed to finish the presentation was a step in the right direction.

Shortly after Todor’s presentation, the Trustees passed a motion asking Todor’s concerns to be forwarded to staff for direct follow-up. Most people watching that board meeting would have thought Todor would soon receive personal calls and letters from staff to address his concerns.

Sadly it didn’t happen. Instead, WRDSB published a lengthy “open letter” in which they attacked him for what he said during his presentation. The letter did not directly mention Todoru’s name, but it was clearly him. Among other things, the letter accused parents of using “inflammatory language and misinformation,” and said that questions about school library books were often “a covert attempt to target 2SLGBTQIA+ families.” says.

If the letter was supposed to solve the problem, it only raised the temperature. released its own statement condemning the way parents were demonized for raising ‘concerns’. Unsurprisingly, board chairman Joanne Weston defended the letter, claiming that many “misunderstandings” had been cleared.

The letter’s main problem, of course, is that it was a textbook example of gaslighting. It sounded like something was wrong with parents who didn’t want their questions answered. This is the perfect way to make parents feel unwelcome in their community.

Interestingly, some councilors seem to quickly abandon their support for diversity when exposed to perspectives they find offensive. Whether the Trustees like it or not, there are still tens of millions of people in North America who hold traditional views about gender and sexuality. This is not going to change anytime soon.

If traditional-minded parents feel neglected in their neighborhood schools, they will quickly start looking for other educational options. Making parents feel unwelcome is one of the quickest ways to undermine support for the public education system.

WRDSB prides itself on being a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students. Inclusion, however, is not just about celebrating different races, genders and sexual orientations. True inclusion recognizes that children come from families with very different religious beliefs and ensures that they are all treated with respect.

The last thing students want is to be told that their parents’ religious beliefs and values ​​are wrong. Yet when the school board turns a parent’s presentation into an opportunity to issue an open letter denouncing that parent for raising concerns, this is a message that is sent home loud and clear.

The WRDSB letter may succeed in temporarily silencing some parents, but it will not build trust between parents and school boards.

We must never forget that school is not meant to replace parents. No matter how the trustee feels about what the parent has to say, gaslighting them is never a good idea. not.

Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Epoch Times.