Before Jordan Peterson they came after Michael Del Grande
Many Canadians have heard about the political persecution of Dr. Jordan Peterson.
In 2023, the College of Psychologists of Ontario investigated allegations of “misconduct”, the start of a process that could end up stripping Peterson of his license as a clinical psychologist.
Peterson’s misconduct, according to the College, included sharing his conservative political views on social media, his opinions on transgender ideology, and his criticism of Justin Trudeau.
Many have rightly come to Peterson’s defense, seeing this investigation as a political witch hunt that has nothing to do with the quality of care he has given his patients, but here’s the thing ...
Did you know that long before this happened to Dr. Peterson, it happened to Toronto Catholic District School Board Trustee Mike Del Grande?
Del Grande is being tried before a tribunal of the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT), and the hearings have been going on since 2022.
This investigation and attempt to remove his teacher’s license stem back to two incidents from 2019, first, when he objected to a motion seeking to add transgender ideology into his Catholic school board’s policies, and a second in which, at a Trustees board meeting, he had defended the Catholic Church’s teaching that abortion is morally wrong.
The ultra-woke OCT has no jurisdiction to find Trustee Del Grande guilty of misconduct over debating points he made as an elected municipal politician, during school board meetings. After all, he was not teaching students in a classroom, so there did not exist any “teacher misconduct” to investigate. This is akin to Jordan Peterson’s college prosecuting him for political tweets, in the absence of evidence that he abused a single patient!
In fact, although Mike has maintained his teachers license for years, he has never worked as a teacher for a single day!
Nevertheless, the College wants to punish Trustee Del Grande for daring to oppose the incursion of Gender Ideology into Catholic religious schools, an ideology to which the OCT is wholly committed.
They want to make an example of Del Grande to all other trustees and elected representatives: “Don’t speak out, or we leftists will find a creative way to ruin your life too!”
DAVID VS. GOLIATH
I want to share with you a brief report of Mike’s most recent OCT tribunal hearing, held October 31, 2023.
My hope is that you’ll be interested in donating to his legal defense fund, so that he is not beaten down in his commitment to continue preserving authentic Christian teaching in Toronto’s many Catholic schools. We need him to win and carry on fighting.
Mike spent the day on October 31st being cross-examined by the OCT’s prosecution lawyer, who was at times hostile and demeaning towards him.
Previous hearing dates were on the topic of Mike’s opposition to Gender Identity Theory during a 2019 board meeting. However, this hearing was dedicated to comments he made in defense of Catholic teaching against abortion, after a “pro-choice” student trustee tried to shut down plans to show TCDSB students a powerful pro-life movie called Unplanned.
Above: Movie trailer ad for Unplanned
The elected student trustee in question, Ms. Taylor Dallin, had complained to the board after Del Grande questioned her pro-abortion views at the 2019 board meeting, inside the Trustees Lounge.
Mike had tried to politely educate her on how such views were incompatible with Catholic doctrine, and with the role of an elected trustee, but she didn’t like what he was saying, and in her complaint to the board of trustees, accused Mike of bullying her. (Mike is still fighting the finding of misconduct by his TCDSB colleagues in a real court, by the way, and we’re crowdfunding for that case too.)
However, not content to just let the TCDSB persecute Mike, the gay lobby came up with the idea of trying to strip him of his teacher’s license too. So, they presented the Teachers College with a complaint about Mike allegedly speaking in a mean way to Trustee Dallin.
Is this sounding totally ridiculous to you yet? That’s because it is.
The prosecution attorney, Ms. Danielle Miller, basically spent the day trying to convince the tribunal panel that because Trustee Dallin was only 16 or 17 years old at the time, it was unethical, mean and grossly inappropriate for Mike to attempt to debate or educate her on the moral issue of abortion.
Mike’s basic defense was that he was not Ms. Dallin’s teacher, she was not his student, and they were not in a classroom.
Rather, he explained, Mike was acting in the capacity of a duly-elected Trustee, so was Ms. Dallin, they were debating a school board motion, and they were in the school board office, specifically the Trustees lounge, where trustees regularly debate and spar over board business.
At one point, the prosecutor, Ms. Miller, sharply accused Mike: “This is about you as a member of the teaching profession berating a student!”
Mike responded as succinctly as he could: “She was not my student. I wasn’t her teacher.”
In my view, that’s case closed.
The tribunal panel members should’ve dismissed the complaint on the spot and saved everyone a lot of money and time.
The College has no jurisdiction to police the speech and debating styles of elected municipal politicians in the board room.
In response to the prosecution’s narrative that the situation is different because she was so young and delicate, and ended up crying, Mike made a couple of key points of rebuttal.
Firstly, Del Grande explained that Ms. Dallin was “no shrinking violet”. She was a loud and proud activist for social justice causes.
He made the case that the very fact that she came to a sub-committee meeting that she has never attended before, to which she had not been invited, and came ready to fight against a pro-life movie, demonstrates that this was a confident young woman who understood very well the power she had to influence Board decisions.
Secondly, Mike pointed out she was already emotionally upset before they began chatting in the Trustees lounge. Mike said this was because during the board meeting, she had been publicly rebuked by Father Peter Turrone, a Catholic priest who attended the meeting on behalf of the Archdiocese of Toronto. The priest had rightly corrected her for scandalously taking a pro-abortion stance.
If she was feeling emotional, it was more likely due to that reprimand she received in front of the whole board and audience, by the priest, than because of anything Mike had said, which he contends was quite civil and normal debate.
In conclusion, it’s hard to say whether the tribunal judges will fall for the prosecution’s narrative that their interaction should be viewed as a teacher-to-student relationship, rather than a trustee-to-trustee peer relationship. If they are objective, they’ll reject the prosecutor’s ridiculous assertion.
To support Mike’s ongoing legal battles, click here. And please remember him in your prayers. These legal challenges have taken a toll on his health.
To read our series of reports on Ontario College of Teachers hearings, visit www.clife.ca/TeachersCollege.