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Artillery Row

Canada’s war on children

Teacher Carolyn Burjoski dared to question the trans lobby, and the reaction was straight out of the TRA handbook

There were extraordinary scenes in a school board meeting in Ontario, Canada earlier this week when a teacher was ejected for raising concerns about the content of certain books available in elementary school libraries. The item on the agenda was the recent decision by the board to cull books which were deemed to be harmful or misleading. 

Carolyn Burjoski, who has been a teacher with the Waterloo Region District School Board for more than twenty years, began her presentation by questioning the appropriateness of two books recently added to the board’s diverse library. The first was Rick, by Alex Gino, in which a young boy questions his sexuality because he doesn’t think about naked girls. This leads him to identify as asexual. The next book was The Other Boy, by M. G. Hennessey, in which a twelve-year-old trans-identified female, eager to progress from puberty blockers to testosterone, casually responds to the information that this will make her infertile with a dismissive “that’s cool”. 

Burjoski made the very reasonable point that this is a typical adolescent response which doesn’t take into account the way this character will feel when they are an adult and living with infertility. 

Something has gone very wrong within our education system

This proved too much for Scott Piatkowski, the chair of the board, who immediately ended the presentation stating that it was “problematic” (without explaining why) and in violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code. It is difficult to understand how he reached the conclusion that a teacher raising thoughtful and genuine concerns about what she believes to be the misleading and potentially harmful content of library materials amounts to discrimination against the transgender community. 

Not every trustee was in favour of Burjoski’s immediate removal though. Four trustees voted for her to continue, although one, Laurie Tremble, has already capitulated to the mob and tweeted standard-issue self-criticism straight out of the Cultural Revolution playbook, apologising for her wrongthink and promising to address her equity learning and to do better in future.

Perhaps the reason for this unusual interpretation of our human rights codes is the exceptionalism with which we treat the transgender community here in Canada. An oppressed minority placed on a pedestal above all others; one which  no one is permitted to question or criticize. The only acceptable narrative here is one of celebration and rapturous support. We are forbidden from questioning whether male rapists belong in women’s prisons, whether males have a sporting advantage over females, or why so many of the teenagers presenting to gender clinics across the country are homosexual, on the autism spectrum, or have a history of mental illness. Innocently enquire about any one of these, and you’ll instantly be accused of discrimination and transphobia.

Whether the teacher’s concerns were valid or not is really beside the point. What is important is that the mere suggestion  that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are serious medical interventions not to be undertaken lightly was enough for her to be immediately silenced. This shows something has gone very wrong within our education system. What began with the best intentions, as anti-bullying measures designed  to  make life easier for gender-questioning students, has morphed into an authoritarian movement which deems even the most reasonable questions about the affirmation and medicalization of every gender-questioning child as an act of anti-trans hatred. 

What we’re watching in Canada — and what other western countries can soon expect to grapple with — is a strange inversion of reality and morality. This is a world in which “protecting trans kids” means ensuring that they be chemically castrated on demand; loving parents who want to protect their vulnerable children from unnecessary medical intervention are considered abusive and hateful; and where teachers who raise safeguarding concerns must be silenced because their views make students unsafe.

The worst medical scandal the world has ever seen

These books are just one small part of a much wider problem. The Canadian school system has been so fully captured by gender ideology that many schools now resemble re-education camps. Children as young as kindergarten are routinely taught that it’s possible to be born in the wrong body, and teachers are instructed to immediately affirm and socially transition every child who announces a transgender identity, often without parental consent or knowledge. In my own child’s school, morning announcements often contain messages about accepting trans kids along with Oh, Canada and the “land acknowledgements”, a new ritual where white people have to acknowledge their theft of indigenous land, a spectacle that is simultaneously sinister and cringeworthy.

Sooner or later, Canadians are going to have to face up to the fact that this devastating social contagion is happening, and that allowing teens to sacrifice their fertility and healthy body parts in the name of gender identity will soon be seen for what it really is: the worst medical scandal the world has ever seen. 

We’re in the eye of the storm right now, and we won’t be able to see the true scale of the catastrophe until it has passed. But once it has, and the masses of young adults facing a lifetime of regret are visible for all to see, everyone involved in Canada’s education system will have to accept their part of the blame for the damage done. At least Carolyn Burjoski will be able to hold her head up high and say she had the courage to do her job: protecting the children in her care from harm.

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