Toronto District School Board reinstates staff member who promoted terror, anti-Semitism

Canadian Jewish organizations are outraged that an individual who distributed materials associated with a listed Palestinian terrorist entity has been reinstated by the TDSB without any discipline.

By World Israel News Staff

The Toronto District School Board on Friday reinstated its Student Equity Program Advisor, Javier Dávila, following an investigation into his conduct.

On May 16 and May 19, 2021, Dávila composed and distributed two sets of “resources for educators” about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The guides contained extremely disturbing content including the glorification of violence, most notably through the veneration of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a listed terrorist entity in Canada.

“It is outrageous that an individual who distributed materials associated with a listed terrorist entity has been reinstated by the TDSB without any discipline. Failure to attach consequences to hateful behaviors undermines the safety and wellbeing of students and staff,” Noah Shack, Vice President, Greater Toronto Area, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), said in a statement.

“Among other resources, Dávila shared links to a website of the PFLP, a group that was reconfirmed as a banned terrorist organization in Canada as recently as June 4th. Other materials romanticize armed struggle by ‘any means necessary’, including suicide bombings and hijackings, and encourage learners to celebrate martyrdom as ‘death which is desired by a warrior.’

“Schools are supposed to be an environment free from hatred, discrimination and violence, designed to nurture and develop learning in children and youth. The resources distributed by Dávila have poisoned that environment. Materials supporting the PFLP should be as intolerable as those supporting ISIS or the Ku Klux Klan.

“Over the past several months, we have heard from many TDSB educators and families concerned whether the board will be a safe place for them to work, or for their children to be educated. We are committed to working with the board to support efforts that will ensure a safe and supportive learning environment for all staff, teachers and students,” the statement concluded.

B’nai Brith Canada said it was” outraged by the apparent reinstatement without discipline of a Toronto school employee who sent materials to teachers justifying the murder of Israeli civilians.”

According to B’nai Brith, Dávila “sent two emails to a listserv comprised of TDSB educators in May, as fighting between the Hamas terrorist group and Israel raged. The emails are filled with virulently anti-Israel teaching material.

Some of Dávila’s emails contain writings by Leila Khaled and Ghassan Kanafani, prominent members of the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the organization noted. One flyer promoted by Dávila, prepared by the “New England Committee to Defend Palestine,” even justifies Palestinian suicide bombings and accuses “Zionists” of plotting genocide against Palestinians.

“If the TDSB has really imposed no discipline in this matter, then it is sending a clear signal that it regards Jewish students, Jewish teachers and the Jewish community as second-class constituents,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “There is no way the TDSB would tolerate the glorification of violence against any other minority group.

“It is clear that the TDSB has a serious anti-Semitism problem, and it is questionable whether the institution can fix it alone.”

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

In June, B’nai Brith wrote to Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce to urge him to ensure adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism throughout Ontario’s publicly-funded school boards, and to put aside funding to combat Jew-hatred within schools.