Black Waterloo public school board trustee Mike Ramsay says the secretive Code of Conduct complaint filed against him by his all-white colleagues which led to him being censured was an attempt to silence his dissenting views.
Mike Ramsay was appalled, but not surprised, when he found out on Monday that the Waterloo Regional District School Board had censured him following a code of conduct complaint that was, and has continued to be, kept secret.
Ramsay, an immigrant and former police officer who has served as a trustee since 1989, says the move was an attempt to silence him and his views.
The WRDSB voted 6-3 in favour of sanctions against Ramsay, which include being banned from attending a board meeting on June 27, as well as all committee meetings or receiving materials until September 30. The decision will not result in Ramsay losing his position, however.
The original complaint was filed in February, likely by Laurie Tremble. Since then, no details have been made public, something Ramsay finds suspicious.
"The fact that my colleagues are hiding behind a veil of secrecy ... allows them to put their own spin on what the issues were," he told CTV News.
WRDSB chairman Scott Piatkowski has not commented on the specifics of the matter, only saying that, "school board trustees are duty bound to be accountable to the public and the WRDSB Code of Conduct is our tool to ensure public accountability."
Following the decision, Ramsay released a statement on Twitter, calling the complaint "frivolous," and claiming that he was cancelled as a result of sharing "information from Journalists which the complainant considers demeaning and disparaging."
He also slammed his fellow board members for their apparent inability "to work with a duly elected person of colour that is not of their own choosing."
"Every day and on every message the WRDSB tells the community 'All are welcome here,'" he continued. "It seems less and less true these days, and makes me wonder if unconscious bias is at play here."
As journalist Sue-Ann Levy points out, this is not the first time Piatkowski has been accused of attempting to excommunicate those with different views. Piatkowski is currently being sued by Carolyn Burjoski, a teacher who claims he defamed her in the media after she voiced concerns over sexual content in children's books.
Burjoski came out in support of Ramsay, who she applauded for "standing up for democratic values."
In an interview with The Record, Ramsay continued to call out the board's hypocrisy.
"They pretend to advocate about diversity, inclusion and equity," he said, "but the irony of all of this is that when a Black person disagrees with them, they're quick to put me in my place."
"It didn’t matter what the report would have said from the integrity commissioner," he continued. "They had their minds made up that this is a way to silence me and I think they’re wrong. "I'm not going to be silenced."
Ramsay has made numerous posts pointed at the school board, including one tweet from Thomas Sowell decrying modern identity politics and perpetual victimhood.
Support for Ramsay has poured in from across Canada and beyond as he continues to push for the full report to be released.
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