Determined to remain an international laughingstock, the school board that brought you Boob-gate has now decided that it is no longer acceptable for schools to get into the spirit of something fun.
The Halton District School Board – led by education director Curtis Ennis – has put out a laughable memo claiming school spirit days must be reimagined because many are racist, ableist, exclusionary and most of all, push colonialism.
The initial edict came out in November 2021 when no students were attending in-person school anyways. It was just updated and revised last month.
According to the board, “red and white” days during which students wear red and white may be perceived as a reminder of the impacts of “colonialism,” including erasure and the violation of Treaties. This, board officials say, may trigger Indigenous students.
“The well-being of Indigenous students must be supported through anti-colonial strategies,” the staff memo says. “The planning of spirit days should examine both the implicit and explicit messages sent about/to Indigenous peoples… perpetuating stereotypes must be avoided and the impacts of student safety and well-being must be considered.”
The board’s brass also say that any days that commence with the word “crazy” are out because this is “ableist” language.
Hair Days are also a no-no because they can create “exclusion” and opportunities for “cultural appropriation and/or stereotyping.”
I guess that means no more Crazy Hair days in the Halton Board.
Twins Day, according to the board, is also off-limits because they can create “exclusion” and “hyper-awareness” of differences.
Board officials claim that besides being discriminatory, racist and exclusionary for some students, some will feel “anxious” about such days while others who don’t want to participate may “feel stigmatized” for opting out.
For heaven’s sake you can’t make this stuff up. This edict is so crazy, one doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
It seems some woke boards won’t stop until they take all of the fun and spirit out of their schools for fear of offending someone.
In doing so, I fear they will turn this generation of students – or at least some – into humourless and cowardly crybabies, unable to deal with anything that might challenge their creativity or sense of fun.
But I am particularly incensed with this edict considering this is the same board that has allowed Kayla Lemieux, the shop teacher who sports mammoth prosthetic breasts, protruding nipples and a cheap blond wig, to continue to come to school dressed like a character out of a drag show.
In November the board ruled that despite the protests, the outrage and international media attention, Lemieux’s rights to gender expression far outweigh those of the students.
It took long overdue comments from education minister Stephen Lecce for trustees to decide last month to pursue a professionalism policy for teachers which will include appropriate standards of dress in the classroom.
The report from Ennis is due March 1. I’m willing to bet that policy won’t come into play until the next school year.
In the meantime, huge prosthetic breasts with protruding nipples proudly displayed by a trans teacher doesn’t violate student safety or well-being.
But it seems a red and white shirt or crazy hair might.
That’s what a school board like the HDSB calls “inclusiveness” in 2023.