The Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) doubled down on its far-left antics this week rather than take steps to reverse the decisions that have made it the laughingstock of Ontario.
The meeting should have begun with an apology from WRDSB chair Scott Piatkowksi to parents, and more specifically to the teacher whom he and other trustees rudely cancelled in the middle of her presentation on Jan. 17.
Instead, Piatkowksi belittled those who criticized the board’s decision, saying his critics “may not understand the subtle code words” used to further marginalize trans people and “delegitimize their existence.”
Christine Burjoski, a teacher for 20 years, was cut off merely for trying to discuss the age appropriateness of two highly sexualized books now widely available in elementary school libraries.
Piatkowski insisted her presentation violated the Ontario Human Rights Code, and ordered her to stop. Burjoski found herself placed on leave and under review the very next day. A few days later, Piatkowski tweeted that the customary YouTube video of the meeting would not be posted because of the “harm” it could cause.
Piatkowski even had the chutzpah to play the victim card despite having caused so much harm to Burjoski’s career.
“In the past week I and other members of the board have had a taste of the abuse and hatred that trans folks experience everyday,” he said. “While frankly it has been an awful experience, it pales in comparison to the harm that would have been caused to trans students, staff and the community if I had not acted when I did.”
When Mike Ramsay – the board’s only non-white trustee – endeavoured to speak about the “moral panic” created by Piatkowski and his fellow bullies on the board, the chairman quickly cut him off.
“You’re out of order,” he said more than once, then with lips pursed, “Stop! Stop!”
Piatkowski then gave the floor for more than an hour to activist speakers, some from outside Waterloo Region, who further defamed Burjoski.
David Alton, who appeared online sporting a blue and red hat and similarly coloured circles around his eyes, claimed Burjoski illustrated just how queer identities are in “the firing line in an organized system of hate.”
Alton – a self-described they/them/queer/non-binary person – was one of two speakers who followed Piatkowski’s lead by calling Ramsay, the WRDSB’s only black trustee, “harmful.”
The day after the meeting, Alton tweeted that he had been the target of an organized TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) campaign.
But the true star of the show came one hour into the circus of tears.
Jodi Koberinski – a University of Waterloo doctoral fellow and self-described queer-identified mom – contended there was an “outrage machine” in motion, saying that “our children must not become pawns in some identity politics from the far right.”
She then insisted that Ramsay be censured, suggesting his Twitter threads were “dangerous and harmful.”
When I pointed out to her on Twitter that her rights clearly took precedence over those of a black man, she blocked me. Asked following the meeting how he felt being silenced by the chairman, Ramsay said he now knows how Ms. Burjoski felt when she was shut down on Jan. 17.
I agree with Ramsay.
It was all an attempt by the board’s white and woke trustees to silence criticism by exploiting vulnerable groups – an action I believe that has made the WRDSB a joke across Ontario.