Richard Bilkszto, principal bullied in DEI session, honoured at Toronto memorial

Richard Bilkszto, principal bullied in DEI session, honoured at Toronto memorial

By Sue-Ann Levy – October 17, 2023 FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppLinkedin

Toronto District School Board teacher Natasha Mansouri said Sunday that well-respected educator Richard Bilkzsto’s untimely passing is a “significant loss” to everyone who knew him.

In a touching and eloquent tribute, Mansouri told a group gathered at Mel Lastman Square that Bilkszto had a “compassionate and unshakeable commitment to enhancing the quality of public education” – that he was a rare commodity.

Despite the chill and rainy skies, about 100 friends and former colleagues came out to pay tribute to the 60-year-old principal, who took his life in mid-July.

He was an educator who promoted “strength rather than victimhood,” who “dared to question” and who viewed “obstacles as opportunities,” said Mansouri, one of a half a dozen trustees, teachers and community members who gave touching tributes to him.

“I am troubled by the scarcity of people like Richard who confront bullies whether they’re in the schoolyard or the bullies who stand in front of the class,” she said. “I wish there were more individuals like him, brave and tireless who take a stance and speak up.

“If you’re out there, please speak up, you are not alone.”

It was clear she was speaking about the circumstances that led Bilkszto to take his own life in mid-July.

His lawyer Lisa Bildy and his family have both said it was the bullying by a Black Lives Matter-supporting Diversity, Equity, Inclusive (DEI) trainer in the spring of 2021 and the ongoing harassment by TDSB anti-racism executives that led to his death.

I have requested financial information under FOI legislation on the cost to the TDSB of the DEI trainer – Kike Ojo-Thomson of the KOJO Institute – but have yet to receive it.

In late July, both Education Minister Steven Lecce and TDSB education director Colleen Russell-Rawlins announced reviews of the situation leading up to his unfortunate death. But, after almost three months. we’ve heard nothing from either.

In my view, the TDSB review – being conducted by the King Advisory Group – is the furthest thing from independent and merely an attempt to sweep the harassment by TDSB executives and their preferred contractors under the rug.

The two teachers who spoke announced an award and scholarship in Bilkszto’s name. 

The award will recognize an educator who exemplifies the qualities the principal embodied, said TDSB trustee Weidong Pei.

“(He embodied) a dedication to excellence in education and devotion to his students and their well-being,” he said.

The scholarship will be awarded to an undergraduate accepted at a teachers college in Ontario who embraces the same qualities, the teachers said.

Teacher Jon Roberts, who was involved with Bilkszto in a chapter of the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism (FAIR), said as a gay man who came of age in the 80s, Bilkszto knew about bigotry and hatred.

But he never insisted the intolerant get with the program or else, said Roberts.

“He was calm and caring…a beacon of positive change,” he said.

Pei said he was a teacher who insisted everyone have equality of opportunity no matter “what they look like.”

After Bilkszto helped Pei win the trustee election in 2022, he told him with a smile he better keep his promise to fight for children.

“Richard, I know you now look from the sky…I hope I made you proud fighting for the children you love,” the Willowdale trustee said, getting emotional.

“We are all better for knowing you and we are poorer for your loss.”

Ragini Sharma of the Toronto Asian Parents Association said Bilkszto was an ally for Asian students – “sensitive and sympathetic” to such students “being sidelined” in the TDSB system.

She said he appreciated that Asian students were considered “privileged” and labelled “white adjacent” by the anti-black racism focus of the board.

“He understood that Asian students do well because their parents value education and work hard to help the children succeed in school,” she said. 

“We shared his concern about school boards becoming more divisive in how they handled diversity and equity.”

She added that she knows Bilkszto would have liked the board to do more to bring more belongingness and compassion among students and staff.

“May his soul rest in peace,” she said.

“May his legacy never be forgotten,” added Mansouri.

The tribute ended with a moment of silence in his honour.

CAFE Protests The Anti-White Race Hucksters of the Kojo Institute Which Led to the Death of a Toronto Principal After a Maoist Style Struggle Session

CAFE Protests The Anti-White Race Hucksters of the Kojo Institute Which Led to the Death of a Toronto Principal After a Maoist Style Struggle Session

TORONTO. Friday, August 18, 2023. A dozen supporters of the Canadian Association for Free Expression and the Canadian Nationalist Patriots gathered today outside the south Etobicoke offices of the Kojo Institute to protest the suicide death of retired Toronto high school principal Richard Bilkszto.
Bilkszto attended several “anti-racism” seminars put on by the Kojo Institute and its director Kike Ojo-Thompson in 2021. “Toronto school principal Richard Bilkszto was bullied by an anti-racism trainer over ‘his whiteness”’ — his questioning of her assertion that Canada is a more racist place than the United States. In July, he took his own life. … Bilkszto, a Toronto District School Board (TDSB) principal, was berated in a DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) training session after pushing back on the trainer’s belief that Canada was more racist than the United States. (He agreed with the trainer that Canada had a racism problem, but pointed out that marginalized people have better access to education and health care north of the border.)

A week later, Bilkszto’s “resistance” was referred back to as an example of white supremacy in a session the next week. Humiliated, he took sick leave for more than a month (and was awarded compensation by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), which found he had suffered bullying in the workplace). Despite his stellar performance record, TDSB revoked work from him when he returned. In May of 2023, Bilkszto sued TDSB over the matter; last month, he took his own life. Friends and family said that he had been anxious over potential fallout from anticipated media coverage.” (National Post, August 16, 2023)

“Anti-racism is a fraud. Anti-racism is a code word for anti-White,” CAFE Director Paul Fromm said. Most people have a poor opinion of their neighbours, either on an ethnic or racial basis, he added. “The Japanese detest the Koreans and vice versa. I know: I’ve been there. In Africa, in Rwanda the small black Hutus hated the tall Tutsis and, in 1994, genocided about a million of them. So, most people are, to some extent, racist — a fuzzy word invented in the 1930s by communist Lev Davidovich Bronstein, known as Trotsky. However, it is only Whites who are the targets of these race hucksters!”

“The Kojo Institute and Kike Ojo-Thompson must be held accountable for the death of Principal Bilkszto,” Mr. Fromm added. CAFE will be contacting Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce who has promised an inquiry into the incident. “We want the police to investigate whether the Maoist style struggle session and humiliation of Mr. Bilkszto constituted reckless endangerment, or criminal negligence causing death.” Ojo-Thompson and the Kojo Institute hold themselves forth as professionals and experts. As such, her remarks denouncing Mr. Bilkszto for White privilege and, by implication racism and White supremacy are outrageous.

“|The Kojo Institute has made denouncing White people for big bucks —  a profitable endeavour,” Mr. Fromm added.

The Kojo Institute website boasts: ” Kike Ojo-Thompson is an award-winning equity thought leader. She is renowned for her work and expertise as an anti-racism and anti-Black racism educator, speaker, and organizational change facilitator. As founder and principal consultant of equity consultancy, KOJO Institute, Ojo-Thompson has spent 20 years guiding public and private organizations across a broad range of sectors towards more equitable outcomes. Notable clients include Canada’s largest school board, the TDSB; the nation’s biggest grocery retailer, Loblaw Companies Limited; top 10 North American bank, TD Canada Trust; and global relief organization, World Vision.

Race Huckster Kike Ojo-Thompson

Hear Paul Fromm protest KOJO institute Aug 18th 2023

Political Correctness Rules — Toronto Teacher Fired for Handing Out “Inappropriate” Jokes

Political Correctness Rules — Toronto Teacher Fired for Handing Out “Inappropriate” Jokes

Political correctness is Puritanism without God. It is a grim, cramped, mean miserable form of tyranny. Jeff Jones is a popular, well-thought-of drama teacher at Toronto’s Oakwood Collegiate,. He handed out a page of sexual and racial jokes to his grade 9 and 10 drama class. Students in groups were to choose five of these jokes and develop them into a skit. These are jokes that are part of the students’ world, however “inappropriate” — to use the politically correct catch-all denunciation — they might be. For thias, he was fired, as the Toronto Star (March 6, 2013) reports:

“An Oakwood Collegiate drama teacher who handed out seven pages of violent and racist jokes to his students as part of an assignment has been fired.

The Toronto District School Board confirmed Wednesday that Jeff Jones has been dismissed.

Jones was put on “home assignment” after parents complained he had distributed a handout filled with jokes about blondes, sexual violence and dead babies.

Trustee Maria Rodrigues, who oversees Oakwood, said Wednesday she “fully supports the decision made by the board of trustees tonight to terminate Jeff Jones.”

“I am beyond disappointed that this occurred at Oakwood and that students were subjected to this inappropriate behaviour,” she said. …


The Star reported Jones handed out 100 jokes to his grades 9 and 10 students in early January and asked them to develop a comedy skit based on five jokes on the list.

Some parents were outraged by the assignment and complained; others thought the incident was blown out of proportion.

Ben Kutsyuruba, an expert in ethical and legal issues in the classroom at Queen’s University, said the jokes were “very explicitly inappropriate” and breached the ethical standards enforced by the Ontario College of Teachers.

Reaction to Jones’ dismissal was swift, with some former students and parents suggesting it was a loss to the school and education system.

“I think it’s terrible,” former student Samuel van Schaik Muir told the Star. The 23-year-old professional actor credited Jones with steering him into his chosen career. “I just graduated from an acting program at the University of Windsor . . . and it was Mr. Jones himself who encouraged me to do it.

“He was a great drama teacher. Yes, of course his methods were controversial. But he had nothing but the utmost respect for his students.”

Parent Helena Soukup, whose daughter took civics and drama with Jones, was shocked. “There has been a witch hunt to take him down for whatever reason,” she said. “He’s one of the top two teachers my daughter has ever had. He’s a phenomenal human being.”

Jones taught at Oakwood for eight years. Many of his students credit him with helping them win honours at the Sears Ontario Drama Festival for three years in a row.”

Jeff Jones has been fired from his teaching job at Oakwood Collegiate after he handed out seven pages of blonde and dead baby jokes to students.



The Star didn’t publish any of the jokes, thus making it difficult for their readers to judge what the controversy was all about.

Jeff Jones grieved his firing, as the Toronto Star (March 7, 2013)reported: ” he Oakwood Collegiate Institute drama teacher fired for handing out violent or sexually graphic jokes about blondes and dead babies as homework isn’t leaving quietly.

“He’s the best teacher I’ve ever had, hands down,” said Kyra Soukup, a 16-year-old Grade 11 student who was in Jones’ class this year. “The fact that he could get fired over something like this is ridiculous.”

A 2011 Star investigation showed that some teachers found to have committed sexual misconduct weren’t fired but transferred to other schools in a practice referred to as “passing the trash.”

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation confirmed that it would be filing a grievance with the board over Jones’ firing.

“We’re going to argue that it’s excessive,” said Doug Jolliffe, president of OSSTF District 12, which is representing Jones. If the grievance is turned down, the union can take the school board to labour arbitration, he said. …


Jones was sent home with pay in January, after a parent complained about seven pages of sexist and violent jokes she found in her child’s backpack.

The decision to fire Jones was announced at Oakwood Thursday by principal Ellen Austrom.

Students have launched a petition on, called Keep Mr Jones at Oakwood, which had 172 signatures as of Thursday evening.

Several students told the Star that the offending assignment had been around for years and that the administration was aware of it but did nothing until they received the parent’s complaint. “