Ontario College of Teachers vs. God?
I found myself asking a rather strange question last week:
Are Christians unfit to be teachers?
I started reflecting on this after a high-priced lawyer grilled a faithful Catholic school trustee about whether a person’s job should be more important than their deeply held religious beliefs.
Sadly, this is what happened last Wednesday at the ongoing “disciplinary” hearings by the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT), where Michael Del Grande is fighting off a complaint by a pro-LGBT activist who wants to see Mike stripped of his teacher’s license on the grounds of “professional misconduct.”
This is like a real David vs. Goliath battle here.
On the one side, you have the OCT, the largest self-regulatory body in Canada with deep, deep pockets.
In the other corner, you have Mike, a duly-elected Catholic Trustee with the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB), a man who’s had his name dragged through the mud for upholding and defending his faith.
On Wednesday, July 19th, Del Grande faced cross examination by a prosecution lawyer for the Teachers College, who suggested that Michael’s behaviour as a trustee was unbecoming for a member of the OCT.
The allegedly “discrediting conduct” was two-fold. First, he opposed transgender ideology being embraced and celebrated in TCDSB schools. Secondly, he disapproved of an elected Student Trustee expressing pro-abortion views during a public board meeting, which was certainly a scandal to the Catholic community.
To Mike’s credit, he repeatedly framed his actions into the context of living life as a faithful Christian …
Explaining that, as an elected official, he always acts in a way that is consistent with the oath he took as a Catholic trustee to defend and uphold the teachings of the Church.
He laid it out as plain and simple as possible, saying:
“I can’t be a good Catholic, and I can’t be a good Catholic trustee, if I’m going to throw out the window my Catholicity.”
In my opinion, Del Grande’s commitment to his deeply held religious beliefs seemed to puzzle the OCT’s prosecution lawyer, Ms. Danielle Miller, who appeared to hold the position that this was somehow inconsistent with being a member of the Teachers College.
“Are you suggesting,” Ms. Miller asked, “that your Catholic beliefs make it incompatible for you to abide by the ethical and professional standards of the teaching profession?”
A few minutes later, the prosecution lawyer grilled Mike again:
“So what I hear you saying is that because you took an oath to be a trustee and because you put your Catholic faith above all else, to the extent that that conflicts with your obligations as a member of this college, and you end up like you are now, with allegations of misconduct, so be it, because at the end of the day you’re always going to prioritize your Catholicity over any other professional obligation?”
Del Grande's responses was perfect: "Your question is not a fair question... I believe I did nothing wrong."
To me, that question is not only unfair, it’s out of line and outrageous.
For starters, there’s a legally protected right in this country, in section 93 of The Constitution Act, which allows Ontario’s Catholic school boards and, by extension, Catholic trustees, to exercise their faith in the separate school system. Didn’t Ms. Miller learn in law school that the Constitution is the highest law of the land? How can a solicitor not know that the Constitution is superior to every law, regulation, human rights code, and Code of Conduct? Even I learned that in my Grade 11 law course!
I don’t like the line of questioning we’re seeing from the OCT through its lawyer here.
It evokes this sense that Mike’s Christianity renders him a kind of second-class citizen, unfit to hold certain kinds of employment.
I find this very disturbing.
Have we come to a point in our nation where liberal power elites are ready to ghettoize faithful followers of Christ, cutting them off from certain aspects of economic life and bar them from working in various professions?
We’ve watched that movie before, played out with followers of the Jewish faith, and it didn’t end well.
This was an ominous line of questioning indeed.
It illustrates once again the kind of hostile environment that Del Grande is facing during these proceedings, which is why he needs your help.
We put out a fundraising appeal recently to help Mike cover his legal costs, which have gone through the roof.
The response we’ve seen from our supporters has been phenomenal, so I want to thank you, personally, if you’ve already given to Michael’s legal defence fund.
In case you missed the previous reports in this series, here’s your chance to help. Click on this link, or one of the buttons in this blog, and donate right now to help Mike cover his legal costs.
In addition to the fundraising, Michael and his wife can use your prayers, as well, because this entire ordeal has been quite taxing on both of them – it’s like the legal process here is part of the punishment he’s facing for having the guts to stand up for his faith against a mob of pro-trans-and-homosexual activists who want to indoctrinate children in every school across the country.
The legal battle is one thing, but there’s a spiritual battle happening here which is every bit as important.
So, thank you in advance for your financial support and your prayers. Mike’s next hearing date is scheduled for October 30th.