TCDSB trustees reject motion to fly anti-abortion flag at schools

In a contentious debate, the Toronto Catholic District School Board voted against a motion that would have seen anti-abortion flags risen at its schools and offices. Michelle Mackey reports.

By Michelle Mackey

The Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) trustees have resoundingly rejected a motion that had called for the anti-abortion flag to be flown at every school for the month of May.

The motion was brought forward by trustee Michael Del Grande, who also wanted the board to encourage staff and students to take part in next month’s “March for Life” in Ottawa and for anti-abortion teachings be given to those who could not attend.

There were outbursts from the audience during the board meeting following the motion failing eight to two, led security to remove the entire audience. 

Trustee Maria Rizzo, was among those who voted the motion down, said Del Grande’s proposal is an example of political agendas ruling the classroom.

“What we’re seeing today is the latest example of a series of moments in our history when political stress and unrest where the school board has become a kind of locus of controversy,” said Rizzo during the meeting.

But anti-abortion advocates in attendance say trustees, like Rizzo, are going against their religion. “They are not Catholic. They are not following the teachers of Catholicism. This is wrong,” said one of the advocates.

Del Grande is the trustee who came under fire when he connected a debate over 2SLGBTQ+ issues to beastiality, cannibalism and more during a 2019 TCDSB meeting. 

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