Brad Badiuk — Another Teacher Victim of Political Correctness
In the 1990s, Malcolm Ross and I were both persecuted and lost our jobs after heavy Jewish lobbying pressure for what we had written on our own time off school property.
Our treatment made a mockery of the Charter guarantee of freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, etc. Then, Alan Borovoy, the then go-to spokesman for civil liberties in his role as head of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, in a book When Rights Collide, proclaimed that a teacher should have a right to express his views, BUT, having expressed views critical of privileged minorities, no longer has the right to keep his job. Some freedom!
Whereas Malcolm Ross and I expounded our views in writing (he in booklets and books, me in newsletters) and public appearances, the latest victim potential victim of censorship, Winnipeg high school electronics teacher Brad Bradiuk is in trouble for expressing his views about Indians on his social media Facebook page.
The CBC (December 11, 2014) reported: “A Winnipeg high school teacher who posted controversial remarks on Facebook about First Nations people is now on paid administrative leave. Some of the comments made by Brad Badiuk, an electronics teacher at Kelvin High School, concern aboriginal people generally. Others targeted Derek Nepinak, the grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC).
Kelvin High School electronics teacher Brad Badiuk has been put on paid administrative leave after he made controversial postings about aboriginal people on Facebook.
The controversy started when another teacher posted an article on her Facebook page about John Ralston Saul’s book, The Comeback, which contends that repairing the relationship between First Nations peoples and the rest of Canada is a pressing issue.
In response, Badiuk put these posts (taken verbatim) on Facebook, “OhGoddd how long are aboriginal people going to use what happened as a crutch to suck more money out of Canadians?
“The benefits the aboriginals enjoy from the white man/europeans far outweigh any wrong doings that were done to a concured people.”
Another line read, “Get to work, tear the treaties and shut the FKup already. My ancestor migrated here early 1900’s they didn’t do anything. Why am I on the hook for their cultural support?”
In some of his posts, Badiuk took aim at Nepinak.
“He wears feathers on his head and calls himself the Grand Chief. You see he had an idea. Indians have no money. You have money. So he could get his hands on your money, that would solve the problem of indians without money,” the comments read.
Kevin Hart, who works with the AMC, complained to the school board about the comments, calling them racist and hurtful, and demanding action be taken.
“It just shows that we have so much more to go, that even a teacher that works in a school division, we [even] have to educate those people,” he said. “I think it’s worse, especially when we have educators … leading and teaching the young minds of this country.”
Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Derek Nepinak, who is the subject of some of the controversial postings by Kelvin High School teacher Brad Badiuk, called the comments racist and said they were of particular concern since they were coming from a teacher. (CBC)
Nepinak was blunt in his response.
“If racists are going to come forward like that and make comments like that, but yet are still tasked with teaching our young people, then we got a responsibility to stand in the way of that.”
Mr. Bradiuk was suspended with pay while the Board investigates. “School officials could not say how long the investigation would take or whether Badiuk might face discipline.
“It’s obviously really disheartening,” said Mark Wasyliw, chair of the board of the Winnipeg School Division.
“We are a very diverse school division. We have a huge population of aboriginal students and these types of allegations are always concerning and demoralizing for staff.”
And Paul Olson president of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society wasn’t much help in defending a teacher’s right to hold an opinion and express it on his own time. He said “and although there are no formal rules about what teachers can and cannot say on social media sites such as Facebook, they are nevertheless held to higher standards.
“There’s no such thing as a teacher off duty,” he said. “There’s legal precedent in Canada on that. Teaching is not so much something you do as a teacher, it’s something you are. You’re a teacher 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, anywhere on earth. That can be taken to extremes but if something in your personal or your private conduct causes any concern about your professional practice, that is fair game, at least for a conversation with your employer or your professional organization, depending. So you’re never really off duty.”
Then, according to a CBC follow-up story, Todd Andres, a Winnipeg privacy lawyer, called for Bradiuk to be punished. “He said there are several cases in Canada where Facebook and Twitter posts made outside the workplace have been grounds for discipline.
Andres said Badiuk’s comments could have a profound impact on the Winnipeg School Division’s reputation, since its mandate is to educate all students equally.
‘If he’s made comments that jeopardize his ability to do things that are in accordance with the mandate, then it’s difficult to see how he can continue to carry on in that role,’ Andres said.
He said the school division must take action against Badiuk to protect its reputation.
‘If they take steps, I think they can mitigate their reputational harm that could come out of this,’ he said. ‘If they don’t, then I think they may be hard-pressed to justify any lack of action.’”
So, dissent from political correctness and the heretic must be punished!
Actually, Mr. Bradiuk’s views strongly echo widely held opinions cited in a recent Maclean’s (January 22, 2015) labelling Winnipeg Canada’s most ‘racist’ city.
“One in three Prairie residents believe that ‘many racial stereotypes are accurate,’ for example, higher than anywhere else in Canada. In Alberta, just 23 per cent do, according to polling by the Canadian Institute for Identities and Migration (CIIM). And 52 per cent of Prairie residents agree that Aboriginals’ economic problems are ‘mainly their fault.’ Nationally, the figure drops to 36 per cent. …
Generally, when groups interact, there is a correlating drop in prejudice as understanding grows, says Jack Jedwab, executive vice-president of the Association for Canadian Studies. But in Manitoba, where 17 per cent of the population is Aboriginal—the highest proportion among provinces, and four times the national average—and where 62 per cent reported “some contact” with indigenous people in the last year, the opposite appears to be true. Just six per cent of people in Manitoba and Saskatchewan consider Aboriginal people “very trustworthy.” In Atlantic Canada, 28 per cent do.
Just 61 per cent of Prairie residents said they would be comfortable having an Aboriginal neighbour, compared with 80 per cent in Ontario, according to a recent CBC/Environics poll; and just 50 per cent would be comfortable being in a romantic relationship with an indigenous person, compared to 66 per cent in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.”