School Boards are in place to educate and protect students: Full Stop

By Pepper Parr

February 27th, 2023



Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, CM, is founder, executive director of Rainbow Faith and Freedom and senior pastor emeritus of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto commented recently on the transgendered teacher working at an Oakville High School.

Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes,

Speaking to the problem in front of the Halton District School Board trustees Hawkes said: “Whatever your opinion on this issue, it’s crystal clear that the public conversation around it is on the wrong track.”

“Prioritizing the safety and well-being of transgender people — including this educator — and all students is the clear objective.

Rev Hawks has failed to understand that the school board is in place to educate students and to protect them while they learn and grow into adulthood.

The rights of teachers are important and the transgendered community needs understanding and acceptance but not at the expense of the students.
Hawkes maintains “those objectives have been brushed aside. A recent direction to implement a “professionalism policy” (at the relevant school board) threatens to worsen this situation.”
Hawkes added: “In my experience, this conversation requires everything it has lacked thus far: sincerity, civility and calm, trust in those institutions working to find solutions, and faith in reasonable debate.

Parents are offended with what they are seeing.

“To be clear this case is about human rights. So, anyone entering into this conversation, must check their assumptions at the door and listen, first, to those whose rights are at stake.

“As a community, the urgent question we must ask, therefore, is how to make this conversation not easier, simpler, or magically expedient, but more civil, compassionate, and clear in purpose.”

While all the above are important – the students are the responsibility of the society they live in – and at this point my view is that the rights of others, not the students, which is what matters most.

Rev Hawkes had played a major role in helping the wider community understand people who face huge barriers in living their lives. He is to be commended and has been recognized for the work he has done.

Hawkes adds: “Many of our fellow Canadians are depending on us to find this answer. We have found it before, let’s find it again.”

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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6 comments to School Boards are in place to educate and protect students: Full Stop

  • David

    Thank you to the ‘New York Post’ this person is no longer allowed in school.

  • Stephen White

    The Reverend’s response is typical of those in positions of responsibility and authority who perceive their mission in life is to be advocates for social change. What the Reverend doesn’t understand is that his primary role, like the primary role of teachers, is to educate and protect, not proselytize on behalf of special interests. If he and others want to be advocates then do it on their time and their dime, and don’t expect either congregations or the taxpayers to subsidize your efforts.

    The Halton Board of Education’s handling of this issue has been ridiculous from the outset. Curtis Ennis has clearly shown nothing in the way of leadership, and is essentially a shil for EDI special interest groups. Equally discouraging has been the response of our Board of Education trustees most of whom clearly lack the ability to speak truth to power.

    Teachers are supposed to be role models for decency and decorum. Their conduct in and out of the classroom should not detract from their role to educate and inform. Regardless of how one feels about LGBTQ issues, the teacher in question behaved absurdly, and should be disciplined accordingly. There are plenty of venues in Toronto which sponsor drag queen auditions and performances, and where one can perform. Keep it out of the classroom!

    • David

      The ‘New York Post’ has an interesting article on this matter, why do residents of Burlington feel the need to contact our southern neighbours
      to express themselves?

    • Cosmo

      100% agree! Shame on this “teacher”, the board and the director.

  • Perryb

    Personally, I think that the ‘educator’ in this case has decided to proclaim that the way to get someone’s attention to their particular issue is to spit in their eye. And, incidentally, to operate dangerous power tools without safety precautions.