Waterloo Region School District school trustee Mike Ramsay talks about the sanctions against him

I worry about education in the Waterloo region. So are the parents.

Have you noticed that the focus of elementary and secondary education has shifted from promoting literacy and math skills to promoting a very specific ideological agenda?

Last week, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario began distributing “white privilege” lesson plans for use by its members.

I find this new insistence troubling. This type of education typically teaches students that while they are white, many of the successes they experience are not due to personal effort, but to the color of their skin. Conversely, students of color learn that despite their personal efforts, their chances of success are greatly reduced because society is systemically racist and therefore inherently biased against them.

White students also learn that even if they have no conscious animosity towards non-whites, they must unconsciously embody racist tendencies that place them in the role of oppressors. The only way to reverse this is to deprive yourself of opportunities.

These lessons are part of the larger curriculum initiative known as “anti-racism” education. Both are based on a larger philosophical project known as critical race theory. This theory is a collection of unverifiable, self-serving, non-evidence-based arguments. One of his core beliefs is that if people of color aren’t on the winning side of the equation, it’s because of racism.

These developments worry many parents. They contacted trustees by the hundreds.

They come to us with stories of their children being taught discriminatory concepts that seem to be rooted in critical race theory. They legitimately fear that their children will learn that if they are white they are racist, and if they disagree that they are racist because they are white, then they are doubly racist.

Administrator Cindy Watson and I attempted to address these concerns by asking board staff to provide a detailed account of what students were learning. We asked staff to respond to specific questions about how critical race theory influences teaching.

I was unable to make the motion because six directors had voted to silence me by withdrawing me from all meetings until the end of September.

The administrators responsible for my ousting have refused to release any information surrounding the ordeal.

Last week, in this newspaper, administrator Carol Millar claimed that the council had to keep everything secret because the council had received the report of the integrity commissioner “in camera”. She cited the Education Act to justify the secrecy.

Yet nothing in Ontario’s education law requires this secrecy. The Toronto District School Board acted transparently in almost identical circumstances.

It is unfair and unnecessary that local administrators do not publicly explain their actions against me. The council also completely neglected to balance my right to free speech, guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The reality is that I often challenge “woke” claims and initiatives. Most administrators see me as the wrong kind of black man. They don’t like my politics. They think that because I’m black and don’t subscribe to critical race theory and “white privilege,” I’m some kind of racial traitor.

I believe their bias led to my ousting. It is nothing more than privileged elites from all walks of life coming together to impose their beliefs on everyone.

When Watson introduced our motion, it was quickly defeated.

Millar suggested that simply putting the motion forward — literally, words on a page — hurt. “If what’s happening on social media is any indicator, I would suspect that our staff, students and families have faced hate and racism as a result of this motion and that really saddens me,” he said. Millar said.

Every day, more and more Waterloo Region parents pay attention to the school board’s narrow-mindedness. The elections are in October.

Mike Ramsay is a trustee of the Waterloo Region District School Board.