The Battle for Waterloo
by Collin Wynter
Words Of War? Or, An Educator Speaks Truth?
An Ontario school is back in the news. No, not for a board president wearing a keffiyeh, a symbol of Palestinian resistance, during a meeting to censure a Jewish trustee. No, not for the pervasive “wokeness” eroding children’s education. No, not for teaching kids to view each other through a lens of racial division. No, not for the harms caused to children by closing schools instead of making them safer to be in. No, not for literal book burning. This time we have the Waterloo school trustees censoring an educator who is expressing concerns about transgender ideology being presented to students.
During the January 17, 2022, Waterloo Region District School Board meeting, Carolyn Burjoski attempted a to present information that materials were being made available to children that involved the contentious subject of “gender identity,” and questioned its age appropriateness for the youth. Almost immediately, board chair Scott Piatkowski interjected. After doing so twice, he ended her presentation, citing the language used was in violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code.
What was it that she said that was so inflammatory? She read from two books, Rick and The Other Boy. The former discussed the adolescent Rick’s assumption that he was asexual because he did not have feelings for girls (yet). While the latter involved a girl who takes puberty blockers in belief that will make her a boy. To be clear, it is not what was in the books that was impetus for Piatkowski to disconnect the presentation. It was Burjoski’s thoughts on the matter. From Kitchen CTV news:
“While reading this book I was thinking: ‘Maybe Rick doesn’t have sexual feelings yet because he is a child.’ It concerns me that it leaves young boys wondering if there is something wrong with them if they aren’t thinking about naked girls all the time. What message does this send to girls in Grade 3 or 4? They are children. Let them grow up in their own time and stop pressuring them to be sexual so soon.”
“[I]t does not take into account how Shane [the female character from The Other Boy] may feel later in life about being infertile. This book makes very serious interventions seem like an easy cure for emotional and social distress.”
Board member Mike Ramsay immediately called Piatkowski’s action to stop the presentation into question, which moved the board to vote on the matter. A motion to discontinue was achieved with 5-4 in favour. Several tweets, as well as statements to the media, confirms Piatkowski believed he did the right thing. Oddly, the ability to view the meeting itself was removed from being online, again citing human rights violation concerns. In the National Post, a video of the meeting has a copyright claim blocking viewership.
Is it possible what Burjoski said in the meeting did not transgress any Human Rights Codes? Twitter user @justdad7, who also writes a substack, seems to think so. In his account of the matter, he states that the Ontario Human Rights Code does not have speech regulation the way some other provinces do. So, perhaps Piatkowski is attempting to perpetuate the narrative that what Burjoski said was actually transphobic and “questioned the right [of trans people] to exist” while denying the public a chance to view the meeting and hear for themselves what occurred. When asked to elucidate what was so harmful, Piatkowski claimed that he would not give those comments “oxygen”. This is a common tactic by social (in)justice practitioners. Create smoke where there is no fire. Sometimes, rumour is more potent than the truth.
It is interesting to note, that this is not the first controversy Piatkowski has found himself in. The Record reported back in 2018 that he misused the NDP mailing list to:
“solicit support and donations in his campaign for a trustee seat on the Waterloo Region District School Board.”
He was vice-president back then, on the NDP Ontario executive, and the chief financial officer of the Waterloo NDP riding association, a volunteer position. Apparently, this was the fifth time he was bidding on a seat of the school board.
Following the board meeting, Burjoski was given a stay at home order. In regards to all of this, she released a video of her perspective, stating:
“The following morning H.R. informed me that I was immediately assigned to home, pending a formal investigation and banned from contacted my colleagues and students. This was particularly upsetting to me because I love my students, and I have not seen them since December.”
She feels “bullied” and “silenced” by the board, while the insinuation that she is transphobic is insulting.
“It’s crazy that just because you ask a question, the first thing people do is call you that.”
Jon Kay, who has been at the forefront of exposing the absurdity of the “social justice” policies in Ontario (as well as Canada and abroad), posted the following week’s board meeting agenda. As can be seen below, there are five delegations that include transgender as an aspect of their organization (queer is considered under the umbrella of trans). Plus a group representing “Importance of Representation in Literature.” Noticeably absent are any groups that may wish to present a different perspective; say a parental or religious conservative organization. Unless of course, the outdoor maple syrup education program is an attempt to free students from the confines of gender absurdity.
No one is claiming transgender people do not have a right to exist. The perpetuation of the “trans-child” is the matter at hand. It is becoming quite evident that homophobic parents are using this concept to ‘normalize’ their child from growing up to be gay. That youth, particularly girls, suffer from mental illness and body dimorphic issues, and are influenced by social media to believe that transitioning to a boy- particularly with use of puberty blockers and “T” (testosterone)- is the cure all they have been seeking. Adults with an ideological perspective affirm this and affirmation is persuasion.
Since when did our school system become a conveyor belt for medicalizing children?