After the death of Richard Bilkszto, a former principal of a Toronto school, the board and the education minister, Stephen Lecce, have decided to investigate a recent professional development session.
The Toronto District School Board was sued for mental anguish by former 60-year-old principal Bilkszto after he was accused of being a racist during mandatory training. According to his claims, Kike Ojo-Thompson, CEO of equity company KOJO Institute, stated Canada has a racist and anti-Black heritage that has never been addressed. It was deemed offensive because Bilkszto seemed to belittle a Black lady when he disagreed with and disputed the instructor’s views. The family feels that Bilkszto’s mental health was severely compromised by the unpleasant atmosphere he encountered during training, which triggered a domino effect of further problems related to the topic.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce described the claims made by Bilkszto as “serious and disturbing” on Thursday. A representative said an investigation would be launched, and measures would be proposed to ensure “this never happens again.” He expressed his deepest sympathy to Richard’s loved ones, saying they had lost a teacher who cared deeply about his pupils.
The school board has hired a private firm, King International Advisory Group, to undertake the inquiry.
KOJO, an equity consultant, promotes critical race theory (CRT), which argues that society is rigged against certain groups based on skin color. CRT denies the idea of merit-based success and says races can be ranked according to privilege, with White folks being the most privileged. The company claims anti-Black racism is embedded within all systems and offers consulting to corporations and governments.
Ojo-Thompson used Bilkszto’s efforts to challenge her claims as a “real-life” example of someone supporting White supremacy. Ojo-Thompson believes in intersectionality, which means individuals can belong to multiple categories of oppressed groups.
The Toronto District announced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the tragic passing of Richard Bilkszto, using King International Advisory Group. The KOJO Institute denies all allegations.