Trustees on the Ottawa Carleton District School board (OCDSB) came within one vote last night of sanctioning aggressive attention-seeking trustee Nili Kaplan-Myrth for violating the board’s Code of Conduct after she lost control in a series of texts to a fellow trustee.
A total of eight votes were required to rule that she breached the code, but only seven voted in favour and four abstained (likely those who have supported her and her childish antics since she won as trustee a year ago.) No one voted with her.
Serial masker and doctor Kaplan-Myrth – who has become infamous for her unrelenting social media outbursts usually related to white supremacists, anti-Semitism and transphobia – couldn’t even hold it together at Monday night’s meeting, disrupting it so much a recess had to be called after an hour.
She, in fact, had been permitted to attend the special meeting if she remained silent, a meeting held to discuss a series of reports stemming from complaints by her black colleague Donna Dickson that she breached sections 3.17 and 3.18 of the code of conduct which says trustees should respect differing points of view and act with decorum at all times.
But chairman Lyra Evans, who has consistently been an ally of the controversial doctor, appeared not to know how to handle her outbursts, ones which resembled a temper tantrum by a screaming toddler.
According to the documents and a report on the complaint done by an outside contractor – which cost $20,000 – Kaplan-Myrth lost control in a series of texts to Dickson last November after she indicated in a very respectful way that she would not support another mask mandate.
Kaplan-Myrth, trying to guilt Dickson into relenting, indicated that Trustee Donna Blackburn “doesn’t care if Black and Indigenous children get sick,” that Trustee Lynn Scott “doesn’t care if Black and Indigenous children get sick” and new trustee Matthew Lee “doesn’t care if children with disabilities and immunocompromised family members can’t safely go to school.”
When that didn’t work, Kaplan-Myrth started harassing her in a series of texts, urging her not to vote “with white supremacists” and not to talk to her “about equity.”
Dickson, sounding emotional, pleaded with her fellow trustees to find her guilty of a breach and to issue sanctions.
“We are here about conduct unbecoming to the board,” she said. “We need to ensure there is accountability for such actions.”
While a legal opinion stated flatly that the doctor had breached the Code – a sentiment echoed by several trustees – others referred to Kaplan-Myrth’s credentials and to the idea that she didn’t understand her limits as trustee.
Trustee Amanda Presley, who claimed she read the report 15 times, wondered if the doctor really understood her “role and responsibility as a trustee” as they’d just been sworn in last November.
Blackburn responded that “no one needs training to know what was said was wrong” and Kaplan-Myrth’s comments were plainly inappropriate.
“Some trustees want to blame (Dickson) for filing a report,” she said.
“Kaplan-Myrth has not made many efforts to change her behaviour.”
Blackburn is 100% right.
Trustees missed a tremendous opportunity to send a clear message to a highly narcissistic trustee, who in my view, has turned that board into a circus and who constantly plays the victim when called out for her bad behavior.
What really troubles me as a Jew who has fought real antisemitism and has seen it up close at various anti-Israel/anti-Jewish events is how she uses the Jewish card to try to get sympathy.
We never heard a word about her religion before she landed in hot water. Now she uses it incessantly.
As someone who has exposed several antisemites and paid the price for it, I can’t for the life of me think she is getting that much antisemitic vitriol.
She really has no business being a trustee.
Her antics are not about the kids but about her.
Yes trustees yet again dropped the ball.
If they think Kaplan-Myrth is the least bit remorseful for her behaviour, all they have to do is reflect on her answer to the chair when asked to issue an apology for shouting at Blackburn.
Raising her voice so even the residents of Orleans could hear her, she responded: “I absolutely will not!”