Source: Facebook

The pro-life flag will fly at Toronto Catholic schools for the month of May if a school trustee gets his way.

Scarborough—Agincourt Catholic school trustee Mike Del Grande in Ward 7 has introduced a motion in solidarity with the national March for Life. The motion will be voted on by the board at its next scheduled meeting,Apr. 23.

The flag would be flown each May “until such time as lawmakers enshrine or restore legal protection for children in the womb.”

The school board includes almost 200 schools with over 86,000 students.

Along with flying the International Pro-Life Flag each May starting May 1, 2024, the motion would officially declare the board’s opposition to laws allowing abortion.

The board would also formally encourage staff and students to participate in the National March for Life, which takes place this year on May 9.

If passed, those students, teachers and staff at TCDSB who are unable for any reason to attend the National March for Life in person will be mandated to instead spend school time learning a pro-life curriculum in accordance with Catholic church teaching.

The curriculum would include learning the parts of the Catechism of the Catholic Church under Respect for Human Life.

“The entire teaching curriculum (will) be exclusively devoted to explicitly teaching the portions of the Catechism identified in this motion, the book entitled, the Gospel of Life, authored by Pope John Paul II, and the corresponding portions of the Holy Bible, that is the source and foundation of the Church’s teachings,” the motion says.

Del Grande argued that trustees have sworn to follow Catholic church teaching in their oaths of office, so they must support the motion.

As part of the oath, trustees promise annually to be faithful to the teachings of the church and “express fidelity to the primacy of the Pope and the authority of the Magisterium.”

One pro-life activist is optimistic about the motion.

“Hopefully it will pass,” said Jack Fonseca, director of political operations for Campaign Life Coalition. “There’s 12 trustees. So, we need seven to pass a majority. They all profess to be pro-life, so it should be an easy thing there.”

He said it’s always been a clear and absolute teaching of the Catholic church that abortion is immoral and can never be approved.

Del Grande has been embroiled in legal battles with the school board and the Ontario College of Teachers since comments he made in 2019.

“He’s been a real stalwart for the Catholic faith. And a hero,” Fonseca said. “He has been under attack, in recent years, since 2019, where certain factions have tried to force him out by finding him guilty of misconduct for opposing the addition of gender identity and gender expression to the school board’s code of conduct.”

Del Grande is fighting a complaint filed to the Ontario College of Teachers for opposing transgender ideology in schools, which Fonseca argues is also clearly and explicitly opposed by the Catholic church.

The complaint would strip Del Grande of his teaching licence.

Although the Campaign Life Coalition has been crowdfunding for Del Grande’s legal defence for the past four years, Fonseca said their donations have been down recently due to inflation and other factors.

“We need a lot of people to come to Mike’s rescue and donate to his legal defence fund and to ensure that he is not forced to abandon his lawsuit against the school board and that he’s able to stay on the board of trustees to continue bringing forward these wonderful motions, like this pro-life flag motion, for years to come,” Fonseca said.

True North reached out to the Archdiocese of Toronto for comment but Archbishop Frank Leo declined to make a public comment.

The Toronto Catholic School Board did not reply to a request for comment from True North.