The Ontario Public School Boards Association (OPSBA) and Ontario’s trustees have become so out of touch with students and so dismissive of parents that many have come to realize they achieve very little, and that the provincial government could easily get rid of them.
There was a time when the OSBA was middle-of-the-road politically and made a sincere effort to represent the concerns of all parents in Ontario’s school board system.
But after ex-Premier Kathleen Wynne threw a huge pot of money at boards and teachers to keep them happy, the trustees who sit on the OPSBA turned into advocates for every “woke” cause imaginable.
One has to look no further than the 22 progressives who sit on the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) who voted 13-4 last Thursday to make mandatory vaccines for all students a condition of returning to school on Jan. 17.
OPSBA has in fact led the charge for mandatory vaccines. They’ve even been calling for them for school kids aged 5-11 since August, long before the vaccine was even approved for use in that age group.
In a recent statement, OPSBA president Cathy Abraham – serving her fifth term as trustee – makes it very clear that they support adding COVID-19 to the list of designated diseases under the Immunization of School Principals Act.
Thankfully, all of this requires provincial approval.
Long-time TDSB trustee Shelley Laskin, also serving her fifth term, helped ensure any debate was shut down by the few trustees truly concerned about the moral and ethical ramifications of such a move.
Laskin sniffed imperiously that the board was merely following the guidance of Toronto public health and OPSBA. What she didn’t mention is that Toronto school trustees sit on both the health board and OPSBA, making it a very incestuous group of decision-makers.
That incestuousness came out loud and clear two days after the TDSB vote, when Laskin took to Twitter to complain that she’d received e-mails pushing back on the board’s decision containing “Nazi analogies.”
She didn’t provide any examples or clarify any further.
Of course using Nazi analogies to describe the draconian decisions of school trustees is inappropriate and offensive.
Yet, being tone-deaf, educrats, teachers and trustees reacted in a way that was entirely predictable. When I suggested to Abraham and other trustees on Twitter that while the use of the word “Nazi” was wrong, perhaps it showed that parents felt very strongly about being mandated to give their kids vaccines.
The communications flak with OPSBA, T.J. Goertz, went so far as to block me on Twitter.
This is entirely the problem with the progressives who run Ontario’s school system. It’s their way or the highway.
Those who dare try to engage or criticize their decision are blocked, like this woman:
Parents are so frustrated with not being heard, they’ve had to turn to petitions like this one.
That brings me back to my original statement: Are trustees really needed in Ontario’s school system if these are the decisions they are making?
I believe not.