A school board in the Durham region of Ontario has recently drafted a new human rights policy, and when Linda Stone, a trustee, voiced her concerns about it she was banned from attending future meetings. Stone’s criticisms included the policy’s use of the term “white supremacy,” and that the policy would keep parents in the dark if their children were changing genders. The Durham District School Board (DDSB) decided at a Feb. 6 meeting to ban her on the grounds that she had contravened the board’s code of conduct.
The board’s argument against her was laid out in a 55-page document that included tweets from her personal account and comments she made at meetings. It stated that her comments “might harm members of the local community” and because she did not support the board’s “vision and values” as required. One of the complaints against her from a former trustee, Darlene Forbes, said Stone “espoused racist and transphobic points of view which are damaging to the reputation of the DDSB, run counter to the equity and diversity initiatives of the DDSB, and were potentially harmful to the students and staff of the DDSB.”
Stone’s comments included her objection to the policy’s use of the term “white supremacy,” stating that it was derogatory and that it separates whites from anyone else. She also questioned the term “cisnormativity,” asking if it referred to the assumption that men cannot get pregnant or give birth, or that men can’t breastfeed. The board’s human rights and equity advisor replied that “cisnormativity” is assuming cisgender is the norm and the term describes the “systemic prejudice against trans people.” Stone also raised concerns about a student’s gender identity being kept private from their parents.
On Jan. 24, 2022, Stone said, “Is diversity of thought encouraged? When anyone speaks against the orthodox thinking, has a differing opinion, or merely would like terms explained or defined, they will, as I was, be told that their questions and comments are offensive and harmful, and that it showed a lack of understanding of human rights.”
Stone’s tweets included “Should biological men compete in women’s sports?” and “How many different pronouns are there? And could they be changed daily? That might make it even more difficult for teachers.” She also retweeted an article written by Ontario teacher Chanel Pfahl who was being investigated by the Ontario College of Teachers for saying critical race theory should not be taught in schools. Stone also retweeted a post related to “chest feeding,” a term used by people who identify as non-binary and others who prefer not to refer explicitly to their anatomy as breasts.
The Epoch Times asked the board and the arbitrator who wrote the document to elaborate on how they differentiate between comments on the policies and ideological statements. The investigator said he could not comment. The board did not reply as of publication.