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The Struggle Continues for TDSB Accountability

A tweet by TDSB employee Javier Dávila celebrating his reinstatement in July (Twitter)

Oct. 4, 2021

TORONTO – B’nai Brith Canada is not giving up in its campaign for consequences after a Toronto “Student Equity Program Advisor” shared material glorifying terrorists and justifying the murder of Israelis.

In July, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) shockingly reinstated Javier Dávila without discipline, after he had sent two incendiary emails to an email list comprised of TDSB educators in May, as fighting between the Hamas terrorist group and Israel raged.

As previously documented by B’nai Brith, the emails contained writings by Laila Khaled and Ghassan Kanafani, prominent members of the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist entity in Canada. One flyer promoted by Dávila, prepared by the “New England Committee to Defend Palestine,” even justifies Palestinian suicide bombings and falsely accuses “Zionists” of plotting genocide against Palestinians.

In response, B’nai Brith has now assumed control of a complaint to the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT), alleging that Dávila engaged in professional misconduct by sending the emails. The OCT complaint was initiated by Michael Teper, an Ontario lawyer. B’nai Brith thanks Mr. Teper for his dedication to fighting antisemitism.

Meanwhile, the TDSB has rejected point-blank a freedom of information request filed by B’nai Brith regarding its investigation into Dávila’s conduct. B’nai Brith has appealed the school board’s refusal to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, arguing that there is a compelling public interest in releasing the records. The TDSB has never publicly explained why it reinstated Dávila without discipline, despite acknowledging that “the resources in question were not vetted prior to distribution” and that “Had they been, they would not have been approved.”

“We will not allow Canada’s largest school board to turn a blind eye to antisemitism,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “The TDSB owes the Canadian Jewish community an explanation, as well as a commitment to never allowing this to happen again.

“As it stands, Jewish families in Toronto are being forced to choose between a public school board that does little to protect their children, or sending their children to independent schools that receive no public funding, not even for COVID-19 health measures. This is unacceptable and must change.”

The Dávila affair resurfaced recently after activist Desmond Cole went off-script to praise him during an anti-racism session for TDSB educators. When Cole reiterated similar bafflegab in a second session, TDSB staff members pushed back, and the school board sent a letter distancing itself from his remarks. But a TDSB Superintendent of Education then publicly endorsed Cole’s message, raising further questions about the school board’s commitment to cohesively combating antisemitism.

According to the TDSB’s own figures, Jews were the most targeted religious group for hate incidents within its schools in both the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years.