Friday, November 01, 2013

Letter to the Editor of the Toronto Star

On Friday, October 25, Toronto Star columnist Rosie DiManno published an article entitled "Brampton father fighting with Catholic school board should consider public school". In it, she criticizes a teenager and his father for demanding that their legal rights be respected, and litigating when they were not. The article prompted me to write the following letter earlier this week to Ms. DiManno, the public editor, and the Letters to the Editor page. The Toronto Star declined to publish it (or respond at all).

Update:  The Toronto Star published my letter to the editor on their web site and (in slightly abbreviated form) in the November 2 print edition.

Good day,

Why did Ms. DiManno choose to spend an entire column attacking the characters of a Brampton teen and his father?

Their only sin, according to Ms. DiManno, is holding the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board accountable for not obeying the law.

There are any number of reasons that a family may prefer a local Catholic school to a distant public one - but Ms. DiManno makes no effort to discover what motivates the Erazos.

Instead, Ms. DiManno characterizes the Erazos as "helicopter parents" "incubating a couple of claim-to-blame whiners", who are "selfish" and "holier than thou". These smears are not justified in any way in the text of her column.

Leaving teens without oversight during school hours perhaps could be unwise. Furthermore, ensuring supervision for those exercising their legal right to be exempted from Catholic liturgies seems a small price to pay to maintain special status in Ontario's blatantly discriminatory educational system, wherein Catholics (and only Catholics) receive billions of dollars every year from the provincial government to educate their children according to their faith.

I realize that Ms. DiManno's is an opinion column; nonetheless I was disappointed to find it utterly devoid of facts.