Those of you who read my (#blogger #blog #somseason #YA #authors) blog know that I am a retired school teacher. Over the years, I’ve participated in and supervised many school events that were fun and brought joy to students. We’ve just had Valentine’s Day, and at one of the schools I taught at the High School Student Council would organize events like sending a flower, along with a message, to their boyfriends or girlfriends, to someone they secretly liked, or to someone they admired. Even I received a flower on occasion. This tradition made people feel special and appreciated. I always thought it was a wonderful activity, so you can imagine how shocked I was to read about an Ontario school who banned Valentine’s Day. What is so wrong with Valentine’s Day? It’s a day of tradition where one’s beloved is honoured. Their reasons for prohibiting this day are lame to say the least.
Then there is the BC elementary school cancels Mother’s Day, introduces ‘The Grownups Who Love Us Day’. Why are they trying to erase motherhood and fatherhood from our culture? The school’s reasoning behind the name change is so that all students can feel included in card-making. They claim students with one parent or with a deceased parent are excluded. I went to school with classmates whose mother or father had passed away. It wasn’t an issue then, so why now?
Then there is the New Brunswick (NB) school that silences Oh Canada, Canada’s National Anthem. That’s insanity. NB is a province in Canada. Apparently, Oh Canada is no longer a daily morning event at Belleisle Elementary as the school’s principal dropped it to accommodate parents who didn’t want their children taking part singing the anthem. The principal wouldn’t say why the parents objected to their kids taking part, citing privacy reasons. I guess the “squeaky wheel gets the grease.” The trend nowadays is if something offends just one person, you ban it. As American conservative political commentator, Rush Limbaugh says, “It’s impossible to go through life not offending people. All you have to do is basically have an opinion on anything, and you’re gonna offend people,” or as English-born American political activist, Thomas Paine said, “He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” Stop banning things for a few whiners.
Something is terribly wrong. It seems our schools are becoming places where fun and tradition are banned, but some things schools are doing border on craziness. A Hamilton high school students fired from a hospital co-op placement over “OK” hand gesture. The student’s employer alleged that an “OK” hand gesture she made in a social media photo was a symbol of white supremacy. What? It usually denotes approval, agreement, and all is well or “okay.” Who decided it was a hate symbol? The best one yet is Math now racist according to Ontario court. Say what? Apparently Math Proficiency Tests are “unconstitutional” as it impairs non-white teacher candidates. I’m baffled! Ban proficiency tests, because they’re unfair to immigrant teachers, and allow the quality of teachers to decrease. Seems logical. I’m being sarcastic of course.
Spirit days were huge in the schools I worked in. We had crazy hair days, pajama days, crazy hat days, dress as your hero days, formal dress day, to name a few. They were fun for both teachers and students. Yet, an Ontario school board bans spirit days, wacky hair days for woke reasons. You see, fun days are banned because the school board claims spirit days need to be reimagined because many are racist, ableist (discrimination based on disability), exclusionary and push colonialism. Pardon me? Are they saying crazy hair days are racist or exclusionary? I guess the bald students are excluded, but in my 35 years of teaching, I never taught a student without hair. I worked with colleagues who lacked hair though. Forbidding kids to have fun in school is bullying (#bullying, #antibullying) plain and simple.
A University lecturer is disciplined for wearing Indigenous costume as teaching aid. Yes, you read that correctly. The professor dressed up as an Indigenous person because he was discussing a book about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He says he dressed up as an Indigenous person to get his students’ attention, and had reportedly worn other costumes in the weeks leading up to this incident while teaching other lessons. His behaviour was deemed inappropriate although the article fails to say how it’s inappropriate. I guess creative teaching is banned. No wonder students are bored. Then there is the Ontario teacher who is allowed to keep license after criticizing WOKE ideology, but we live in a country where free speech is allowed, right?
Where things really get bizarre are the positions taken by authorities regarding sex education and gender issues. Take for example the Waterloo school board trying to obliterate debate over sexualized children’s books. The board decided not to post the video of a controversial public meeting where a long-serving teacher was cut off for questioning the value of two highly sexualized children’s books in school libraries. Another School Board cuts mom’s mic for reading GRAPHIC assignment given to daughter. I guess it’s okay for 15-year-olds to read these assignments but inappropriate for a mother to read it to the School Board whiling expressing her horror. You can’t make this stuff up, folks.
Then there is the Ottawa school board gender guide that says teachers can’t question washroom preferences. The board orders teachers to accommodate students who wish to use the opposite sex’s change rooms, affirming that “self-identification” is the only determinant of a student’s gender. When I was in school, students were disciplined for going into the opposite sex’s washrooms. I guess it’s okay in today’s schools. Most disturbing is the Masturbation homework given to B.C. junior kindergarten students. Yes, you read that right; kindergarten students. Kindergarten students are as young as 4 years old. The teacher sent home a masturbation worksheet taken from a guide called “Body Smart: Right From the Start.” When I was teaching, we would have been severely reprimanded, if not fired, for doing such a thing.
Then there is the university Professor who says let’s ditch the term pedophile for ‘minor-attracted person’. I have nothing to say about that, except to quote author Mike Lew who said, “The rape of a child is a violent act of contempt, not an expression of sexuality or affection.”
Edmonton, an Alberta city, is embedding “anti-racism” into the kindergarten-to-grade 6 curriculum, as explained in the news article, Edmonton to teach kindergarteners “anti-racism” curriculum. Critical Race Theory (CRT) is controversial to say the least, and that’s a whole other blog post. True North columnist Sue-Ann Levy says, “School boards…are already trying to indoctrinate kids as young as kindergarten with this very dangerous CRT philosophy, which is divisive and racist in its selectivity.” I couldn’t agree more. CRT is indoctrination.
The National Post columnist, Rex Murphy: Toronto school board takes lunacy to a whole new level. He talks of a Toronto School board who is contemplating censoring a Jewish trustee who complained about anti-Semitic materials. What is there to say about that? I guess it is okay to have students read anti-Semitic books as well as sexualized children’s books.
A new Leger poll reveals reports that Canadians agree with Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre that Canada is broken. The poll says 67% of Canadians agree with the statement made by a Canadian politician who stated that “it feels like everything is broken in this country right now”. I have to agree! Canada’s schools certainly are broken. American football player, Justin James (J.J) Watt, said, “What I remember most about high school are the memories I created with my friends.” I guarantee you those memories were not teacher lessons. Memories came from fun. Stop taking the fun out of schools. Stop this madness!