Human rights tribunal dismisses gender discrimination case, child’s mother decries ‘new political dogma’ in schools

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Parents who alleged their 6-year-old daughter was discriminated against on the basis of her sex and gender identity when her teacher discussed issues such as ‘gender fluidity’ in class have had their claims dismissed by the Human Rights Tribunal of the Person of Ontario (HRTO).

Arbitrator Eva Nicholls wrote in her decision that the child, anonymized as NB in ​​the case, suffered no “direct discrimination” or “adverse impact,” and that her rights under the Human Rights Code person from Ontario “were not violated by the defendant. Shares.”

“We are extremely disappointed with the result,” NB’s mother, Pamela Buffone, told The Epoch Times.

“A girl can go to school knowing she is a girl and come home not knowing who she is because schools meddle with children’s identities completely ignoring biological reality as a personal characteristic. relevant and important, now with the full support of the HRTO.

“Nothing like boys and girls”

The dispute dates back to early 2018 when NB attended an Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) elementary school.

According to the HRTO decision released Aug. 25, Buffone said her daughter told her and her husband that “there are no boys and girls” when they had a conversation about the family roles in March 2018.

The child would go on to say that she didn’t want to be a “mom” when she grew up and would own a dog instead. Plus, she said she knows “you can go to a doctor to change your body if you don’t want to have a baby.”

When asked about the origin of these statements, NB said they were made by her Grade 1 teacher during class in January 2018, the ruling says.

The teacher, named JEB in the decision, confirmed in court that she had made these statements, including “that there is no difference between boys and girls” and that “girls can be boys and boys can be girls,” as NB’s dad quoted in The App.

The teacher said she had “clearly misstated the facts” in the hasty statements. She told the court that she later apologized to the class and drew a gender spectrum on the board.

JEB testified that the topic of gender identity came up in response to “some teasing behavior” she observed in class. She considered it a “teaching moment” as she read “My Princess Boy” to children, a book that depicts a boy who wears dresses and enjoys wearing a princess tiara.

She said she responded to a direct question from one of the students by saying, “It’s true that people can go to the hospital to change their bodies.” In subsequent discussions over the next few days, JEB said he explained to the class “how someone can feel different in their heart compared to their physical appearance”.

The teacher also testified by showing the children a video on gender pronouns, after a girl in the class chose a bottle of hand sanitizer with a boy’s silhouette cut out of it, but some children ‘apparently intervened. and shouted that she couldn’t use that bottle.”

Afterwards, as the children organized two gender groups in the classroom and again argued about it, the teacher apparently said that “there are no boys and girls‘, says the decision.

JEB admitted in her testimony that she had misspoken and that it was an inaccurate statement that she should not have made.

“Reasonable Guardrails”

At the hearing, which took place over six days in March, Buffone and her husband argued that the teacher had subjected their daughter to “permanent discrimination” through a series of lessons that “denied the existence of the female gender and biological sex and undermined the value of identifying as female.

Parents further stressed that this is not about “going back” for trans-identified people, but about protecting children and putting in place “reasonable safeguards” at the school board level for “contain the excesses of gender ideology”. .”

Nichols said in her ruling that the parents’ proposed changes would violate Ontario’s Human Rights Code.

“It’s clear that this demand is ultimately not solely or even primarily about the NB experience in the Grade 1 classroom, but about adults’ desire to create systemic changes that, if put implemented, would be contrary to the Code, Commission policies and Tribunal jurisprudence,” she wrote.

The arbitrator added that NB did not face any “negative repercussions based on sex and gender identity” and that the teacher’s comment did not amount to “the environment poisoned quoted by the lawyer” since “there was no direct evidence to support this”. allegation.”

“Clearly what NB parents are looking for is not clarification or correction for their daughter, but systemic changes to school board policy and an education system that they believe , should not allow concepts such as ‘gender fluidity’ to be addressed in the classroom,” Nicholls wrote.

OCDSB spokesperson Darcy Knoll said in an email that “the decision affirms the importance of fostering learning environments for students of all ages that are inclusive and representative of all gender identities. “.

“The irreconcilable clash of worldviews”

Lisa Bildy, a lawyer who represented the Buffone family, said she was disappointed but not surprised by the decision.

“Quite frankly, there is an irreconcilable clash of worldviews in our society right now, and that is reflected in this decision,” she told The Epoch Times.

“Respecting the inherent human dignity of people of diverse gender identities, through inclusion and acceptance, is a very different goal than instilling in all children the idea that their gender is fictional or that they must have a gender identity.”

“Unfortunately, the court was not concerned with the testimony of the teacher or other school board employees, since they all seem to start from the proposition that everyone has a gender identity – a subjective feeling , internal – and that this takes precedence over biological sex. ,” she added.

“It’s the accepted dogma in many classrooms today and if you question it, or your child’s life is turned upside down by it, your motives will be those seen as suspect.”

NB Parents transferred her to another school board in September 2018. Buffone says her daughter “can’t remember any apologies from her teacher.”

“The idea that ‘everyone has a gender identity’ which the HRTO declares in its ruling, is further proof that a new political dogma is being imposed on all of us, including 6-year-olds in our education system. “, she said. .

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Isaac Teo is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.

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