The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has announced it is shelving a controversial student census full of heavily sexualized and race-based content, following reporting on the issue by True North.
“We have temporarily paused the release of the TDSB Student Census to allow time for further review,” reads an email sent out to parents Thursday evening. The announcement was buried among news about a current education workers’ strike.
The student census included asking elementary students if they knew about transgender practices such as breast binding and tucking, where males contort their genitals to hide them and appear more feminized. These controversial elements were first reported on by True North columnist Sue-Ann Levy.
There were different versions of the census crafted for elementary school and high school student, but all of them included sexualized and race-based components.
Another True North article on the census highlighted how the census was being slammed for how it appears to be driven by the controversial ideology known as Critical Race Theory.
“The TDSB’s student census is clear, irrefutable evidence that critical race theory is being practiced in Canadian public schools by administrators and school board officials,” said Jamil Jivani, a former advisor to the current Ontario government and current President of the Canada Strong and Free Network, in an interview with True North.
The TDSB’s announcement doesn’t make it entirely clear what the motivating factor was for shelving the census, although they state it went public without proper review. “Materials, including a Guiding Research Principles document, meant to provide context into how the census was developed, were posted without an internal review and approval,” the announcement reads. “As a result, the TDSB is disappointed that we must pause the release of the census itself until the review process can be conducted.”
The census was released on November 1, and was supposed to be live for the entire month. It was shelved after only three days.
“It outrages me as a lesbian to read how the TDSB would endeavour to ram such concepts down the throats of vulnerable students,” Levy wrote in a column. “Schools are not a social science experiment. Kids are there to learn academics, not to have highly sexualized and, in many ways, fringe concepts shoved at them.”