The Toronto District School Board Lied About Muslim Prayers - The Community Has Complained

The TDSB lied when the stated they had not received complaints about the Islamic prayer rituals they have allowed in public schools. Unless of course you don't count the author of the following e-mail, a retired TDSB Teacher, as a member of the "community". 

With regard to parent complaints made directly to Valley Park Middle School , I direct you to the e-mail that started it all: "And there are a number of other incidents involving Islam and other anti-Christian issues that I complained about..."

And who can forget:  The TDSB says they received no complaints until "the arrangement" was highlighted by a "Right Wing" internet blogger!

Dear Xxxx

"I fully support your protest against the TDSB and, while neither Jewish, Hindu or Christian, I plan to attend on Monday.

Watching your video of the news conference, I noticed you had some question about how "the story broke." I don't know about the story, but I can tell you I spent the better part of the past year writing on this issue to the TDSB, all the trustees including those newly elected in November, my MPP, the Premier, the Ministry of Education, the media, and to other miscellaneous groups and individuals I thought might share my concern. Just about no one replied. Deafening silence.

Below is the message I sent, lightly tweaked for the various recipients. So you can see that the issue had been raised, contrary to the claims that no one had complained, but officials were ignoring it.


Xxxxx Xxxxxxxxx"

The e-mail:


To: Bruce Davis, Chair, Toronto District School Board Trustees, Toronto District School Board
Irene Atkinson, Nadia Bello, Chris Bolton, John Campbell, Sheila Cary-Meagher, Shaun Chen, Michael Coteau, Gary Crawford, Cathy Dandy, Gerri Gershon, Howard Goodman, Scott Harrison, John Hastings, Josh Matlow, James Pasternak, Stephnie Payne, Maria Rodrigues, Mari Rutka, Chris Tonks, Sheila Ward, Soo Wong, Gorick Ng, Fan Wu
Christopher Spence, Director, Toronto District School Board

From: Xxxxx Xxxxxxxxx

Date: August 4, 2010

I am concerned that a number of TDSB principals are violating the principle of secular education in Ontario by allowing Muslim students to leave classes for Friday prayers during class time. While the intentions of those principals are undoubtedly good in trying to create a welcoming atmosphere in the school, being inclusive and multicultural and helping retain students who otherwise might wish to attend different schools, their method is wrong; in fact, it is a violation of Ministry policy and the law. It stands in need of being corrected. I ask that a directive be sent to TDSB principals as soon as possible, preferably before the beginning of classes in September, to bring the practice to an end.

For example, I have seen how it has become the regular practice at Jarvis Collegiate, where I was a teacher, to allow 100-150 Muslim students to be excused from classes for twenty-five minutes every Friday afternoon to gather in the cafeteria for prayers. My understanding is that something similar is done in other schools. It should not be happening.


The Education Act states unequivocally that “a board shall not permit any person to conduct religious exercises or to provide instruction that includes indoctrination in a particular religion or religious belief in a school.” R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 298, s. 29 (1), Religion in Schools.

See That statement seems clear enough on its own.

Some background on the development of the place of religion in the Ontario education system is outlined in Education, Religion, and the Courts in Ontario,
Greg M. Dickinson, University of Western Ontario, and W. Rod Dolmage, University of Regina, Canadian Journal of Education 21, 4 (1996): 363–383,, which describes various court cases spelling out how the principle of secular education should be applied in Ontario schools. In one crucial court case the Ontario Court of Appeal stated the following (italics as in original): The school's approach to religion is one of instruction, not one of indoctrination.

The school may sponsor the study of religion, but may not sponsor the practice of religion. One could hardly imagine a clearer case of a school sponsoring “the practice of religion” than students being allowed to leave the classroom to meet for prayers in the school during class time.

See the Ministry of Education’s Policy/Program Memorandum No. 112 Education
About Religion in the Public Elementary and Secondary Schools,


Is the practice perhaps justified under the policy of “religious accommodation”? No.

The TDSB has published its own “prayer timetable” for Muslims in the document Guidelines and Procedures for the Accommodation of Religious
Requirements, Practices, and Observances,”

The daily prayer schedule for Muslims in Appendix I, p. 22.

The TDSB prayer timetable states the following:
The purpose of the timetable is to “help schools assist students and staff when they request prayer accommodation for noon and afternoon prayer.” “Early afternoon prayer times often fall within the lunch period. Students can use all or part of their lunchtime for prayers.”  “When prayer obligations occur during class time, students should be allowed time for prayer.”
Yet a careful look at the timetable shows that there are only one or two days per year when prayer obligations occur entirely during class time. Exept for those rare occasions, Muslim students are able to say their Friday prayers outside school hours with no impact on their religious obligations. The Education Act restriction still applies.


In June 2009, as a teacher at Jarvis Collegiate, I took my concerns on this issue to the principal, Ms. Elizabeth Addo-Noel. Her first response was to state that students were being released on the basis of religious accommodation. However, when we looked carefully together at the TDSB’s own calendar showing obligatory prayer times for Muslim students (see above), she agreed that the practice could not be justified as religious accommodation. When I suggested that the practice was, then, simply a “gift” to Muslim students, she smiled and stated that she would continue the practice.

But if a principal is entitled to excuse students from class time for religious practices even without reference to religious obligation, why is this “gift of time” offered only to Muslims and not to Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, and others? Going even further, if the grounds for releasing students from class time is to be considered simply a principal’s prerogative, then why aren’t other student groups in the school, including non-religious groups, eligible for the same gift of time  – the Amnesty International group, the environmental club, the debating club, the chess club, etc.?

In any case, there it seems clear that no principal has the right to make such a decision because of the Education Act - “a board shall not permit any person to conduct religious exercises or to provide instruction that includes indoctrination in a particular religion or religious belief in a school.”


Is the practice justified on the grounds of “equity”? At a workshop on equity at Jarvis Collegiate on June 22, 2009, TDSB Equity worker Moira Wong, confirmed in answer to a direct question that, if there is no religious obligation on students to pray during school hours, then releasing students for prayers during the school day is not part of equity or religious accommodation.

The TDSB document Equity in Education in a section entitled “Limitations to Religious Accommodation” states the general principle that “Religious accommodation in the Toronto District School Board is carried out in the larger context of the secular public education system,” an apparent reference to the Education Act, which again would seem to apply.


The good intentions of some TDSB principals have allowed a practice to develop within various TDSB schools which is clearly in violation of the Education Act.
As a teacher and concerned citizen, I ask you to direct all TDSB principals as soon as possible, preferably before the beginning of classes in September, to end the practice of allowing Muslim students to meet in the school for Friday prayers during class time.

Meir Weinstein  – (11:36 PM)  

Where is Bernie on this issue.

Al the Fish  – (11:37 PM)  

wow, that's some smoking gun!

j  – (11:41 PM)  

Now that is a first rate letter.

No wonder the cockroachs pretended it did not exist; to acknowledge it is to admit that their behaviour is in contravention of the Education Act.

Blazing Cat Fur  – (11:41 PM)  

Bernie is having a fitting...

Osumashi Kinyobe  – (11:48 PM)  

Quite the post, BCF.

I'm sure the teacher will get some heat for it.

Meir Weinstein  – (11:48 PM)  

Bernie will have to answer questions regarding his involvement with so called inter faith programs with radical Islamic groups and how it impacted this problem today. He can not run away while he campaigns.

Meir Weinstein  – (11:49 PM)  

the teacher is ok with it.

sanwin  – (11:50 PM)  


Like a snowball, this scandal gathers more momentum every day.

Now maybe some more teachers will find the courage to come out and tell their stories.

Blazing Cat Fur  – (11:59 PM)  

We are hoping another teacher we are in "tentative" contact with comes forward as well. I hope to hear soon. This is far more widespread than we have been lead to believe.

E. Crang  – (12:14 AM)  

As a school voucher advocate I hope the mosqueteria bears fruit in education reform. Keep hammering them!

Kaffir_Kanuck  – (12:15 AM)  

This is the gift that keeps on givin'.

I can't wait to hear Imam Rockwell scream Islamophobia, again, over this latest racist un-accommodation of the rules.

Sorry, what race is Islam again?

Brother, you got a story that just won't die the quiet death it deserves if the PC brigade would just follow the law of the land.

I'm thinkin' some Rastafarian followers need to send their kids to these schools so they can be excused to follow their religion during a mandatory "smoke break."

What, Rasta ain't a real religion? Oh right, you're not a real religion until someone kills someone else on a grand scale in the name of it to be a religion.

"Don't Bogart that PC MC accommodation peace pipe dude, there's gotta be some left to convince the rest of the public." Sayeth the unprincipled Principles of accommodation (said with a smile and red eyes).

truepeers  – (12:23 AM)  

Multiculturalism, if it is to mean more than choice in consumption and domestic habits, inevitably leads to arbitrary dictates from increasingly unaccountable officials playing one side against another, in the name of "accomodation" of various competing groups, and hence to the erosion of the rule of (one) law for all people. A public school system can only be sustainable if it insists on the priority of a shared civic religion.

Blazing Cat Fur  – (12:35 AM)  

Well said Trupeers, I am amazed that the TDSB condones "Halal Only" school meal programs. That to me is an explicit endorsement of Islam and a direct contravention of Ontario education policy.


Winchester Junior and Senior Public School - All food served is halal and follows the Canada Food Guide.


Donwood Park Junior PS - Please be assured that all of the food
purchased is Halal.

Melykin  – (12:35 AM)  

Let's start a religion that involves frying up bacon and feeding it as communion to dogs at 1:22 pm every Friday.

If the schools won't accomadate this we can sue their *ss off.

Simus  – (12:52 AM)  

"Nobody has complained" = "No Stakeholder islamist or marxist has complained."

Clink  – (1:10 AM)  


Reminds me of a few years back I contacted my MP Jim Flaherty many times by personal visits to his office, emails and phone calls regarding HRC's.

Chirp, chirp.

gama  – (2:53 AM)  

Mannnnnnnnn BCF this story you broke has more legs than a centipede !
I'm talking major gams, the type pin-up girls where famous for.

truepeers  – (3:42 AM)  

I too am amazed to see the embrace of Halal food in schools. Not only does Halal slaughter often entail unnecessary cruelty to animals (according to Temple Grandin who notes more care and skill in kosher slaughter); not only does it mean subsidizing Muslims-only jobs in meat packing and food certification; it also means more expensive food, and hence less money for any other educational project. It means paying more to pander to one particular set of ritualistic peculiarities. That choice may be appropriate for a private religious school; it does not meet the need for lower common denominators on which any public system depends for its shared legitimacy and viability.

Zilla/MJ  – (7:10 AM)  

Holy crap!
Great job exposing those dhimmi creeps, BCF, keep it up!

been around the block  – (8:27 AM)  

Very fine, thorough, and legitimate complaint.

And, aha: "... when we [principal and teacher lodging complaint] looked carefully together at the TDSB’s own calendar showing obligatory prayer times for Muslim students (see above), she agreed that the practice [of Friday afternoon prayers] could not be justified as religious accommodation [emphasis mine]. When I suggested that the practice was, then, simply a 'gift' to Muslim students, she smiled and stated that she would continue the practice."

The only "accommodation" being made here is to the salaries and benefits of the TDSB employees, from the top down. They need the government monies that accompany each student to whatever public school s/he attends -- and seeing as Muslims are having very large families, "accommodating" them, to ensure they stay in the public system, has become de rigeur.

Folks, this is just the tip of the ice berg. This Shari'a creep's been happening for a long, long time. The anti-Christian stance of the Leftist public board is all a part of it.

We're being Dhimmied by the useful idiots. Who said the Cold War is over?

Blazing Cat Fur  – (9:15 AM)  

Very interesting Batb I will use that comment in an update, thanks.

Jer  – (9:19 AM)  

Interesting how none have brought up the acceptability of promulgating the anti-religion theology of Socialism/Communism being disseminated, proliferated and/or psychologically conditioned throughout our public tax payer based school system, considering the majority of tax payers funding such a brain numbing edifice are Christians or, at least, self identifying themselves as such. Personally, I feel they should bring back The Lord's Prayer to Canadian Public Schools. Such a concept would both remind our government that this country was founded to be pluralistic Christian Democracy not a near entirely societally bankrupt "progressively" "diversified" "eco-friendly" International Socialist Welfare State! Bringing back The Lords Prayer would also remind the Christian Children of their now erased culture, molested heritage and purposefully debased faith. The Lord's Prayer would also remind the Jewish students that Jesus was a Judean: Jew and not the Darwinian Evolved Arabian into a "Palestinian" practicing a much more openly humanity embracing "religion of peace", which also demands not to make friends with Christians and Jews and to slay all unbelievers wherever ye find them. Sure that was taken out of context when directly comparing Mohammad's deeds and analyzing how Islam spread from Asia to Spain turning the 5th century Visigoth Church of St. Vincent and the architectural marvel to holy Christendom; Saint Sophia into bloody Mosques, Constantinople into Istanbul and planting a Mosque and Dome on the Jews Temple Mount with Qur'anic inscriptions attesting to their superiority and dominance over the unbelievers... Bring back the Lord's Prayer and if any "Canadians" cannot tolerate it they can go to their own private schools or embrace their Freedom and profession to "Human Rights" by emigrating back to whichever crud hole they came from... There's a reason why Canada, like the entire West, is decaying like an atrophied corpse!

Ann  – (9:35 AM)  

After reading the teacher’s letter, you get the idea that the TDSB is running two systems, one secular, and the other religious. It would seem that the amount of religious accommodation goes way beyond “individual requests”. In the TDSB’s “Guideline and Procedure for Accommodations Religious Requirements and Practices and Observance” pg.28, it outlines why the TDSB supports girls wearing face coverings; it recruits teachers and puts the threat for discipline to be directed at other children:

“School Accommodation
Although the Islamic dress code is required once a student reaches puberty, many Muslim parents seek to instill modest habits in their children from a much earlier age. Students who wear Islamic dress may be subject to social pressure; the wearing of a head and/or face covering
may lead to teasing by other students. Muslim students should feel supported, and there should be a climate of acceptance of Islamic dress.The student body should be aware of the consequences of harassing students because of their religious dress.”

Any wonder why there is silence about what is going on in the secular schools? Why is the TDSB attempting to condition children to accept face coverings? Isn’t this a form of gender inequality. Where is the authority for the TDSB to disregard Charter guarantees and insert another code? Did the TDSB come up with this on this own or did they consult? Let’s see. At the end of the section, pg. 32, is this:

“Developed in consultation with Muslim community organizations and the Islamic Council of
Imams – Canada.”

If the above “School Accommodation is based on religious beliefs, values and practices, the TDSB is going way beyond accommodation. Is it not incorporating and to some degree enforcing a religous code, complete with the threat to discipline if there is any protest or dissent.

been around the block  – (9:35 AM)  

Jer, good comment, but if it had been broken up into five or six paragraphs, it would have been a lot easier to read.

'Just saying ... ;-)

Blazing Cat Fur  – (9:41 AM)  

Thanks Ann that is very interesting food for thought.

Rose  – (9:46 AM)  

I've no doubt they received lots of complaints, but if they refuse to acknowledge the complaints they can simply snivel "Plausable denyability". However that documentation shows they allegedly lied to the taxpayer and public and that is actionable via firing those who received the formal complaint. Smoking gun, no a heat seeking missle through the heart of the TDSB.

sanwin  – (9:51 AM)  

And here's the bottom line...

Funding per student in 2009-10 is projected to rise to $10,450.

Jer  – (10:30 AM)  

"Been Around The Block" My apologies. First time commenting. Didn't know how but do now. Thanks.. :-)

I do hope that the parents sue the school board or Ontario Government for violating their rights or discrimination in hopes of cracking the meter thick protective shell exposing Islam for the intolerant, backward murderous cancer that it truly is.

Blazing Cat Fur  – (10:47 AM)  

That is a very interesting funding angle that you and BatB have pursued Sanwin, as they always say...follow the money.

Ann  – (11:14 AM)  

BCF " they always say...follow the money...and the real story is found in an article's comment section. How about this commenter's story:

…Personally, I can understand some of the arguments for a prayer room. It sounds benign.

However, my problem as a teacher is with the logistics. In a school system where there are not even designated rooms for French and music classrooms, I can tell you that school space is at a premium. Kids are always in all the corners of my school doing something related to the curriculum, be it reading in a small room with an adult, practicing in the gym for some kind of presentation, playing sports in the gym, using classes at recess for detentions, extra help, or to help the teacher.

Now full day kindergarten is coming up. And that is causing a huge headache for some schools. Most elementary schools simply don't have the space to devote to activities that are not part of the school day. And if a prayer room is created, what happens later when the school numbers change and that room gets needed again? I'm worried about a precedent being set. And what happens when different religious groups want the room at the same time? Or one cannot pray in the presence of another.

The other issue is supervision. Who is going to supervise these kids at prayer or if they're in another room fasting while at lunch? I have classes to teach and kids to supervise outside at recess. There's a safety liability in all of this that needs to be addressed. And can I, a female, even supervise some of these religious kids while at prayer?”

Is Religious accommodation possibly interfering with French instruction, another Charter protected right? How about a female teacher expected to supervise, but due to gender apartheid she cannot? But then the TDSB expects teachers to support all forms of religious accommodation even when it undermines their Charter rights.

Rose  – (1:53 PM)  

Ann I've been asking myself some hard questions since this story broke here, I wish the media would ask the following:

Are the mature Muslim male students using passive aggressive means, unofficially sanctioned by the school, to enforce gender apartied in classrooms?

Are said males given, unofficial policy of course, the authority to act as Sharia Law police officer in schools to abuse female students?

Are female teachers being bullied and abused verbally by mature Muslim males?

In schools that have prayer rooms are non-Muslims being abused, bullied or threatened when they try to use said rooms?

Why I ask these questions is, in Europe all the above are happening on a daily basis. As the Muslim males are empowered by the state in schools they become increasingly aggressive, violent and intolerant against Muslim and non-Muslim at said schools. In England they've driven thousands of female teachers out of the educational system using violence, passive aggressive abuse etc.

Blazing Cat Fur  – (1:56 PM)  

From what I have read and heard Rose the TDSB exercises no discretion or authority.

been around the block  – (2:02 PM)  

Ann, always follow the money and it'll tell you pretty much anything you need to know.

In the case of the TDSB, they're desperate for students, given the depth to which Canada's birth rate has fallen.

1) All-day kindergarten has very little to do with education for toddlers. It's about keeping schools, especially in the downtown, open and keeping teachers employed -- and the administrators collecting their exorbitant salaries and benefits.

2) Accommodating Muslim "faith needs" seems to run counter to the TDSB's stated and practised policies concerning all other religions, so my suspicion is that they're accommodating Muslims because they provide -- and will continue to provide -- the TDSB with a great many students, which means that schools will remain open rather than having to be closed and teachers and admin. will be able to continue to collect their inflated salaries and benefits.

Who's actually being accommodated here? Certainly not anyone who isn't Muslim. But, further, these accommodations for Muslims actually accommodate the salary and benefit needs of TDSB employees.

Rose  – (3:42 PM)  

From what I have read and heard Rose the TDSB exercises no discretion or authority

End quote:---------

I agree, the first tactic of a career bureaucrat when a scandal of this magnitued is brewing is creat an environment of "Plausable denyability" now that works well at court marshals and in politics but the TDSB insurance provider would not be amused. Whilst in school those children fall under their legal liability thus what ever happens to those kids during unsupervised religious services is the lawful responsibility of the school board and the insurance company?

When I worked for the mounties most of my day passed via processing Good Conduct, criminal record checks, documents because school volunteers were required to produce one to work with minors. Does the TDSB and it's affiliate partake of due diligence of the Imams?

Ann  – (4:45 PM)  

@Rose, thanks for asking those questions, because like you I have concerns. It would seem that the TDSB has decided to accept a religious code. For female teachers they are in a bind. Have a look at this from the TDSB's website, "Frequently Asked Questions":

"Q. Can teachers seek accommodation with respect to teaching materials that may contradict their religious beliefs?
A. No. The Toronto District School Board is part of the secular public education system. Teachers are equally responsible for delivering curriculum created by the provincial Ministry of Education and to supporting the TDSB policies that accurately reflect the educational needs of its student population. The delivery of curriculum related to human- rights issues must be consistent with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Board's Human Rights Policy and Procedures, the Equity Foundation Statement, and the Commitments to Equity Policy

Implementation. Failure to do so is contrary to the obligations outlined for teachers on page 4 of the TDSB Human Rights Policy.

Teachers refusing to create an inclusive classroom that is safe and supportive for all students would create a poisoned learning environment.

Q. Can schools/teachers choose not to address controversial issues for fear of negative parent response?

A. No. Teachers are obligated to address all equity issues (issues regarding historically disadvantaged groups). Any omissions that maintain a non-inclusive curriculum and pedagogy are considered to foster a poisoned environment under Section 4.2 of the Board's Human Rights Policy and Procedures.

The TDSB Commitments to Equity Policy Implementation emphasize the importance of this type of work even further under Section 3.4 Curriculum: ensuring that each commitment to equity permeates the curriculum in all subject areas."

Imagine being told to support misogyny
and gender apartheid and if you don't you are guilty of creating a poisonous environment. Using the TDSB's own words, the TDSB's Section 3.4 Curriculum:[is] ensuring that each commitment to equity permeates the curriculum in all subject areas."
In other words, the TDSB is committed to gender apartheid and it is built into the curriculum and subject matter. What is interesting is the admission of the TDSB that it has committed and built a systemic gender bias using a religious accommodation.

Blazing Cat Fur  – (4:50 PM)  

You're doing yeoman work on this file Ann thanks for your contribution, would love to see the TDSB spin that.

Ann  – (4:55 PM)  

@Been around the Block:

Do you think they've seen the writing on the wall yet?

Ann  – (4:58 PM)  

Thanks BCF - But you pick up the story and have given a voice for those in and outside the secular school system that have been silenced.

been around the block  – (5:13 PM)  

Ann: "Do you think they've seen the writing on the wall yet?"

God only knows!

If they have, they'll try anything to paint over it.

I've dealt with them as a parent for years (both my kids are way past elementary school now) and even faced with facts and their own policies in the Education Act they try to slither away. They bully and belittle and if you don't have the fightin'-Irish in ya, you end up slithering away too ...

The TDSB is going to fight like a lion on this file, because, it's pretty clear that Toronto Muslims are their cash cow.

been around the block  – (5:16 PM)  

sanwin, thanks for the latest stats on the amount of government money that accompanies each student in the public system: $10,450!!

That's a lot of dough.

No wonder the TDSB is accommodating the faith "needs" of their Muslim students.

Revnant Dream  – (7:32 PM)  

The way to go is what Alberta has done. Home schooling supported, Charter schools, private schools & even charter schools in the public system. To compete with the Private ones. Edmonton alone has many Higher education collages & Universities.

how many colleges & Universities in edmonton

Melykin  – (1:08 AM)  

Let's start a religion that involves frying up bacon and feeding it as communion to dogs at 1:22 pm every Friday.

If the schools won't accomadate this we can sue their *ss off.

Middle East Expert  – (1:27 AM)  

Why are we having these comments? Do not let Muslims pray on school property. End of story! Lets get on with life.

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template me by me 2010

Back to TOP