Shameless School Board Escalates My Legal Battle for Free Speech

“What happened here should not happen in a democratic society.”
       Justice J.A. Ramsay, Ontario Superior Court

As many of you know, my journey over the past two years has been one of the most challenging yet important chapters of my life. Today, I write to you with a significant update and an earnest appeal for continued support.

A Teacher’s Concern Turns Into a Legal Battle

In January 2022, I delegated before the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) to express my concerns about the age-appropriateness of certain sexual content in elementary school library books. This moment quickly escalated into something I never anticipated. My presentation was cut short by the Chair, who accused me of breaching the Human Rights Code. This accusation was followed by defamatory public remarks which painted me as a bigot, a transphobe, and a promoter of hate speech.

Defamation Lawsuit and the Anti-SLAPP Motion

Refusing to let these accusations redefine my career and silence my concerns, I filed a Defamation Lawsuit against the Board and its Chair. In response, the Board filed an anti-SLAPP motion, a complex and costly legal tactic in an attempt to have my lawsuit dismissed.

Justice Ramsay’s Landmark Decision

On November 22, 2023, Justice J.A. Ramsay of the Ontario Superior Court delivered a momentous decision in my favor. Dismissing the Board’s motion, he affirmed the merit of my claims and the right to free speech. His decision declared “The Human Rights Code does not prohibit public discussion… of anything.” He further lamented the irony of a government body attempting to stifle such discussion, saying, “What happened here should not happen in a democratic society.”

The WRDSB is Appealing Justice Ramsay's Decision

In a move that I find deeply troubling, the WRDSB has decided to appeal Justice Ramsay’s decision. This move prolongs my legal battle, escalates my expenses, and, most alarmingly, challenges the core values of free expression and transparency in our educational institutions.

The Financial and Emotional Toll

This legal journey has been both emotionally and financially draining. We have already spent $90,322 on legal fees for the defamation suit. The anti-SLAPP defense alone cost $47,000, and now the appeal defense of the anti-SLAPP is projected to add another $25,000. Completing the defamation suit could require an additional $60,000. If those projections are accurate, holding the Board accountable for their defamatory words will cost me over $175,000. This price tag is much too high for the average person. I have been contacted personally by many other professionals who have been defamed and simply cannot mount a defense because of the prohibitive cost and emotional wear and tear. Nevertheless, with your support, I am committed to fighting this to the finish.

I Need Your Support

This battle is about more than just one teacher’s right to speak. It’s about defending the freedom of educators to raise legitimate concerns about our children’s education without fear of censorship or retribution. It’s a fight for the soul of our educational system.

I’m reaching out to you for support. If you can, please contribute to my legal fund. Every donation, big or small, makes a significant difference in our fight for justice and the protection of our children’s well-being.

Let’s stand together in this fight for the right to speak freely and truthfully

Notice of Motion for Leave to Appeal

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Karmel Schreyer

    keep going! I support!!

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