". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Canadian Teacher Emotionally Abuses Muslim Students Who Stayed Home on Pride Day

July 22, 2023

A teacher in Windsor, Ontario berated her students at Northwood Public School after many of them stayed home for Pride Day, according to audio published Wednesday. The school serves a community with a significant Muslim population (it is located only eight miles from Dearborn, Mich.) and reportedly saw 600 of its 800 students (75%) stay home for June 1 “Pride Day” events. The teacher called the walkout “disgusting” and “an incredible show of hatred” and said she was so hurt she didn’t even want to be their teacher anymore.

“We, as a staff at Northwood, were incredibly hurt by the statement you made yesterday — for those of you who didn’t come,” the teacher began. “You need to understand how hurt and disappointed we are in those actions — and take that home to your parents, because they are the ones that made you stay home. It was an incredible show of hatred, and it is sad.”

Note the emotional manipulation from the get-go. Oh no! Teacher is hurt and disappointed with us. We don’t want to hurt Teacher. But what’s a kid to do? Their parents made them stay home. It seems like they have to choose between their parents and their teacher; they can’t please both.

“All the rainbows you see around the school [are] because very few people came yesterday, and the teachers are angry,” said the teacher. “The staff at Northwood put all that up because they were so angry with the disrespect they were given yesterday.”

Add “angry” to the list of Teacher’s negative emotions toward her students. Oh, and it’s not just Teacher, it’s the entire school staff they’ve offended. And as the teacher demonstrated with her 15-minute rant, those staff have a lot of power over the students, to make their lives miserable until they are appeased.

“It was hatred toward a community of people,” the teacher continued, “and it was incredibly disgusting to have witnessed. I do not want to be a part of this school, I am so disgusted with what happened yesterday.”

Now the emotion has escalated to disgust (a recurring term throughout the 15-minute recording). Teacher says she doesn’t even want to be part of the school anymore. She might as well say she hates them and threaten to abandon them. Now she has created a situation where the students risk losing their beloved teacher. Now they will strive and beg for her forgiveness and approval.

The teacher mistook support for LGBT Pride with simple respect and kindness — and became quite heated when discussing it. “Nobody in the school is asking you to be gay: we are asking you to be respectful and kind. That is it. And yesterday did not show respect and kindness, and I am disgusted!” she said. “Why can’t we just be kind?”

Credit to the students, though. They didn’t let the teacher think for them. Some even spoke up to defend their character, although the teacher refused to accept their protestations. “We weren’t trying to disrespect you,” ventured one. She responded, “You might believe that, but what came across was an incredible amount of disrespect, ok? That may have not been your intention, but that’s what it was.”

Another student doubled down, “We are respectful for your people, we don’t hate you at all.” But so did the teacher, who invoked the feelings of the entire staff, “No, yesterday showed a huge lack of disrespect. Every teacher in the school will agree. We had a meeting after school yesterday, and so many teachers were angry and upset and ashamed to be a part of this school.”

Other students suggested that you can’t compare a religion to sexual preferences (“but you can,” said Teacher), that not supporting homosexuality isn’t disrespect if it’s part of a religion (“it is disrespect,” came the reply), and that they couldn’t change their religion to make it support LGBT lifestyles (“that is wrong,” she said, “that to me is extremely sad. It’s so sad for you I’m sorry”).

Comparing a religion to sexual deviance? Check. Decrying students’ religion as disrespectful? Check. Assuming an attitude of false pity when students refuse to change their beliefs? Check. To these disrespectful remarks, the teacher added one more, “That’s when you as students, as kids, need to start teaching your parents.” Not only was it unacceptable for students to hold to their parents’ faith, for the teacher it was even unacceptable for the students to permit their parents to hold the faith.

But was the teacher disrespectful? Oh no, that wasn’t even possible, in her mind. “I choose to be kind to everyone. It’s not a religious thing. It’s nothing but the fact that, me — I am kind,” she asserted in closing — after 15 minutes of berating the students. “And that’s what I choose. I’m done. I choose to be kind. I’m having a hard time with it because of what’s happened, but I’m still going to go above and still continue to be kind. But know that I am hurt and disgusted with yesterday’s actions. I’m done. I’m done. I’m done!”

With that, the teacher abruptly ended the conversation as students tried to respond. Perhaps she was having trouble maintaining her ridiculous position against the student’s unexpectedly logical rejoinders. Perhaps her anger and other strong emotions had finally exhausted themselves. Perhaps she always insists, as she did here, on having the last word. (What do you call the people who always insist on having the final say? Is it “respectful”? Or something quite opposite?)

But the teacher should have known that she couldn’t be “done” simply by declaring it so. “Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight” (Proverbs 26:2). When you insult your students, their parents, and their religion, the parents get angry. And the school has to respond.

Surprisingly (at least from recent American experience), the school did not double down on the teacher’s anti-parent, anti-religious vitriol. Principal Dustin O’Neil issued an apology letter on June 20, admitting the comments were “inappropriate” and “do not reflect the values of acceptance, inclusion, and belonging that make Northwood such an incredible school and community.” O’Neil said he would visit the “classrooms of those students who were impacted” (was there more than one rant?) and offer an apology in person. He assured parents they were “addressing the situation,” without specifying how.

But such teacher indiscretions are growing increasingly common. Last month, another Canadian teacher in Edmonton also berated Muslim students for not supporting LGBT Pride. We only know about these incidents (and only after the fact) because someone (likely a student) recorded the audio and posted it to social media — which will only happen in schools where students keep their phones with them. How many similar incidents have gone unnoticed because they weren’t recorded — and not just in Canada?

In addition, this incident made news because of how outrageous the teacher’s comments were. Those comments were provoked by the perceived “disrespect” of three-quarters of the student body staying home. It’s difficult to imagine a situation at an American school where three-quarters of the student body was kept home by their parents on Pride Day. But that doesn’t mean American teachers aren’t as anti-parent and anti-religion (we know they are), or as adept at employing emotional manipulation to entice their students away from their parents and their parents’ faith. Very likely, such manipulation occurs in many schools on a daily basis in less dramatic ways — and thus flies under the radar.

Situations like this one should serve as a wake-up call for parents to pay closer attention to what children are learning at school. Not all pro-LGBT, anti-family instruction will show up in the curriculum. Some of it comes in unscripted moments like this one. But these memorable words may have a greater impact on a child’s moral formation — and notice how much moral instruction the students receive from this supposedly secular teacher — than the standard curriculum. Watching out for bad curriculum is important, but so is watching out for bad teachers who can slip in whatever they want students to learn even if it isn’t in the curriculum.

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.