More and more, we hear about these fringe ideologies making their way into our publicly-funded institutions and taking reign because anyone who dares question or speak out against them is guilted into submission by way of smearing, ad hominem attacks, or is censored and punished.
All of the above happened to Chanel Pfahl, a 29-year-old high school teacher, after she made a few very mundane comments on a private teacher Facebook group in February of 2021. Her comments were in response to a post made by a teacher asking for curriculum geared toward the political movement Black Lives Matter (BLM) and the doctrine of Critical Race Theory (CRT).
The basis of her comments was that teachers should model “kindness to everyone” and that they “should speak out against any form of discrimination that they see, including those brought on by anti-racist movements.” She noted that in places like Britain, it is illegal to teach CRT without providing “a balanced, opposing view.”
These comments resulted in the launching of a formal complaint against Chanel. She was ridiculed, ostracized and othered by her colleagues. An investigation was launched by the Ontario College of Teachers, which resulted in Chanel being suspended for one week without pay.
This punishment was not good enough for the complainant. They have now escalated the complaint, and Chanel is once again being investigated by her college for comments that happened over a year ago.
As a result, we have put Chanel in touch with top notch lawyers through The Democracy Fund, who are representing her at no cost to her. We are crowdfunding her defence here.
We have also created a petition to Stop CRT from entering schools. Through the Ontario Bill 67, the Racial Equity in the Education System Act, school boards will be required to create and enforce racial equity plans. They will also penalize anyone who is perceived to be violating this mantra. You can sign our petition to Stop CRT, send an e-mail blast to your local elected representative, and chip in to cover Chanel’s legal expenses.
A Moving Report on the Truckers’ Freedom Convoy & Supportive Canadians Across the Country Demanding Their Freedom Back
Neither Facebook nor Twittter would let me post this report. The rotten SILICON VALLEY CENSORS
If you’re a Patriot or a Freedom Fighter, it’s hard not to feel emotional & proud as you watch this moving film of the Truckers’ Freedom Convoy & the outpouring of support from decent men, women & children from coast to coast demanding their freedom back! https://www.brighteon.com/735a6d98-1602-4f23-9924-048..
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CENSORSHIP — KEEPING THE PUBLIC IGNORANT: Facebook Scrubs Shooting Suspect Ahmad Al Issa’s Profile, Previously Revealed He’s Devout Moslem
Within a day of this mass shooting Joe Biden, CNN and MSNBC were bleating about the need for gun control. Ted Cruz said he knew they would do this the moment he heard about the shooting. The shooter is only 21 years old and in one of these photos he appears to be 21. However the other photo of a balding man with a big tummy looks much older.
Facebook Scrubs Shooting Suspect CENSORSHIP — KEEPING THE PUBLIC IGNORANT: Facebook Scrubs Shooting Suspect Ahmad Al Issa’s Profile, Previously Revealed He’s Devout MoslemProfile, Previously Revealed He’s Devout Muslim
Facebook has removed all access to the Facebook profile believed to belong to Ahmad Al Issa, the person identified by police as the King Shoppers shooting suspect who killed 10 in the Boulder, Colorado shooting. Screen shots of the Facebook page taken by Twitter users reveal that Al Issa was a devout Muslim who believed in conspiracy theories.
Ahmad Al Issa’s profile was abruptly removed from the website, internet archive websites including the Archive.is and the Wayback machine, and Google’s cache nearly simultaneously.
On March 16, 2019, Al Issa shared a conspiracy theory that there was more than one shooter involved in the horrific Christchurch Mosque Shooting that occurred in New Zealand.
Similarly, Al Issa believed he was under attack from “racist Islamophobic people” who were “hacking” his smartphone. “Yeah if these racist islamophobic people would stop hacking my phone and let me have a normal life I probably could,” wrote Al Issa on June 5, 2019.
Around the same time, on June 1, 2019, Al Issa also shared a post from PBS with the caption “Why refugees and immigrants are good for America.”
Ahmad Al Issa posted this on Facebook in 2019. Not that all refugees and immigrants are bad. It’s just something that, clearly, should be carefully conducted and tightly controlled. pic.twitter.com/oxvsa2iENW— Heartland Populist (@HRTLNDpopulist) March 23, 2021
While authorities did not release information about Al Issa’s country of origin, but claimed he lived “most of his life in the United States,” one user says they learned from his Facebook that he was born in Syria. (CNN initially reported his Syrian origins before 2012 or 2014 but didn’t do so March 23, 2021.)
Al Issa also disliked President Donald Trump according to screen shots taken before his Facebook page was terminated.
“Trumps [sic] such a dick,” he wrote on September 18, 2018, sharing an article from The Washington Post. Later on the same day, he shared another article, this time from The Intercept, and wrote, “[Trump] inherited a growing economy and the unemployment rate was low the economy was on an upward spiral he won because of racism.” In one homophobic post, Al Issa wrote, “If straight people go to prison straight and come out gay doesn’t that mean that being gay is a choice.”
Judges will decide whether she had the right to comment on grandfather’s health care
CBC News · Posted: Sep 17, 2019 5:00 AM CT | Last Updated: September 18, 2019
The nurse who was found guilty of professional misconduct over a Facebook post will soon learn whether she had the right to make those comments.
Three judges of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal reserved their decision Tuesday on the matter until a later date.
The court heard the Facebook post was made in good faith and was an exercise of her free speech.
Court also heard that the post may constitute fake news, although that wasn’t discussed at a lower court hearing, and that there are no charter rights that protect unprofessional conduct.
Post violated social media policy
In 2015, Carolyn Strom wrote a post on Facebook criticizing the health care her grandfather received while in palliative care.
In the post, Strom said staff at St. Joseph’s Integrated Health Centre in the town of Macklin, about 225 kilometres west of Saskatoon, needed to do a better job of looking after elderly patients.
“It is evident that not everyone is ‘up to speed’ on how to approach end-of-life care … or how to help maintain an aging senior’s dignity (among other things!),” read part of the Facebook post.
Some of the nurses in the hospital felt Strom’s post was a personal attack and complained. The Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association ruled the post brought the nursing profession into disrepute and violated its social media policy.
Strom was found guilty of professional misconduct and given a $1,000 fine by the association and was ordered to pay $25,000 in tribunal costs.
She appealed the ruling but her appeal was dismissed because the judge could find no reason to interfere with the association’s decision, setting the stage for Tuesday’s appeal hearing.
‘Made in good faith’
On Tuesday, Strom’s lawyer Marcus Davies argued her comments never mentioned nurses — just staff.
He said there were roughly 40 staff at the health centre, and it’s hard to know specifically who Strom was referring to.
Davies also argued the comments were made in good faith, and that she exercised her right to free speech.
“In the discipline committee, it says, ‘It is accepted that Ms. Strom was not driven by malice,'” Davies said. “Well, that means her comments were made in good faith, if she was not driven by malice, then she was driven by good faith.”
The nurses association argued Strom should have gone through the correct channels and lodged an official complaint.
Roger Lepage represented the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association at Tuesday’s hearing.
He took the position that there is no charter right protecting unprofessional conduct and that there is no right for individuals to harm the reputation of other individuals.
Lepage argued that Canadians would be harmed if nurses would be able to say whatever they wanted about the health-care system.
He argued Strom’s post qualifies “fake news,” but the judges presiding stated the previous hearing never found Strom’s comments to be untrue, and said Lepage himself shut down that argument then.
Lepage argued Strom’s post amounted to venting on social media and that other staff members “had their hands tied” by professional ethics.
Lepage also argued that Strom’s post was not free speech or part of the public discourse, but rather an attack on an individualized group.
“If you read her post, it’s very personal, she’s zeroing in on St. Joseph’s, she’s zeroing in on Macklin, she’s zeroing in on identifiable people who work there, the staff,” Lepage said.
“That’s what takes this out of the protection that Ms. Strom would ask of this court and was asking of the discipline committee.”
Lepage said that Strom should have filed a formal complaint with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, but didn’t.
‘I wish it didn’t have to be this hard’
Strom spoke with reporters outside court on Tuesday, after the judges decided to reserve their decision.
When asked if she regretted making the posts on Facebook, Strom said she will always stand up for her family and she had no regrets about it.
“What I don’t think is fair is … what this has turned into,” Strom said. “I didn’t expect this… I wish it didn’t have to be this hard.”
She said she was shocked to hear Lepage comment Canadians would be hurt if nurses were able to say what they want, when they want.
Strom responded to accusations that she was a liar and didn’t have her facts right, made by the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association’s legal representation, and said they were false.
“I just cannot believe that, that was low, that was false, and I just don’t understand how people get away with that,” Strom said. “There was absolutely no reason for that to have been said.”
Strom, who is working as a nurse part time in Prince Albert, Sask., said the court case has led her to question whether she wants to be a nurse.
Strom said she couldn’t decide today whether she would carry on the case if the judges don’t rule in her favour.
“It will depend; every step is different and it gets harder every time, with respect to the toll that it takes to recover from all of this,” she said. “It’s just so hard to stay composed when you’re so involved.”
3 groups intervene
Three groups have applied for intervener status in the case, including the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses and the Canadian Constitution Foundation.
The Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN), represented by Ronni Nordal, was the first group to speak on behalf of the interveners.
SUN argued the post was directed specifically at the St. Joseph’s Integrated Health Centre, not at the nurses generally.
SUN argued there was no factual basis for which a finding of professional misconduct could be found.
SUN also argued that one of Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association’s statutory mandates is to promote the standing of the registered nurse professionally, not to defend or protect individual nurses, and the organization’s argument was not rationally connected to its mandate.
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association, represented by Greg Fingas, argued the informal nature of social media meant that speech should not be compared to a letter from a judge.
The Canadian Constitution Foundation argued citizens should be allowed to express opinions and criticize health care and services without punishment and noted that because public health care dominates public policy, people should be allowed to speak about it.
The federation also asked the court to consider what kind of precedent this decision sets for all professionals who want to share their opinions or concerns.