"Well, we know so many Ontario school boards have nothing but contempt for parents. So many trustees are control freaks and censorious thugs, but some school board employees would appear to also loathe teachers as well," said David. "At least those teachers that dared to speak out about problems. Case in point, an elementary school teacher in the Toronto District School Board says her day to day reality is one of, quote, fear, reprisal and fear of reprisal and quote, for example, reporting on acts of violence."
"Well, that's verboten. That board likes to pretend everything is okay and they just sweep problems under the rug."
Investigative journalist from True North, Sue-Ann Levy joins the show.
David commented that Sue-Ann referred to the nonsense going on at one of the worst school boards in Ontario, the Halton District School Board in her most recent piece in True North called The TDSB's Culture of Fear and Silence.
Sue Ann commented:
Well, it's been an ongoing thing, actually, David, and it hasn't improved. And as I note in the piece, in a way, back in 2007, lawyer Julian Falconer, who was a bit to the left, talked about the culture of fear and that teachers were afraid to speak out. And there was a lot of, I guess, lip service paid to ending that sort of thing and allowing teachers to speak up about primarily violence in schools.
And that never happened. Succession of school board directors, most of them getting woker by the minute. And then comes Margaret Wilson, an education consultant that I highly respected in 2015. She talked also about the culture of fear. Same reason teachers are afraid to speak up. The administrator who's at the school board sweep problems under the rug, in particular violence, most especially violence.
Fast forward to 2023, it's gotten out of control. Absolutely, out of control. And the big difference now is that teachers don't seem to care anymore about speaking up, although they're anonymous. I received a flurry of open letters. There's one more that I'm going to be writing about from the Peel and Toronto school boards about violence in the classroom.
David added that we do see stories on a weekly basis about schools that are out of control in terms of violence and intimidation and bullying. "If you're an educator, if you are caring for these kids in school while they're in school, and so much is said about so-called safe spaces. Well, if the spaces aren't safe, in fact, if they're rife with violence, then why does the school board have a problem with teachers reporting these problems? I don't get it."