I am concerned that a number of TDSB principals are violating the principle of secular education in Ontario by allowing Muslim students to leave classes for Friday prayers during class time. While the intentions of those principals are undoubtedly good in trying to create a welcoming atmosphere in the school, being inclusive and multicultural and helping retain students who otherwise might wish to attend different schools, their method is wrong; in fact, it is a violation of Ministry policy and the law. It stands in need of being corrected. I ask that a directive be sent to TDSB principals as soon as possible, preferably before the beginning of classes in September, to bring the practice to an end.
For example, I have seen how it has become the regular practice at Jarvis Collegiate, where I was a teacher, to allow 100-150 Muslim students to be excused from classes for twenty-five minutes every Friday afternoon to gather in the cafeteria for prayers. My understanding is that something similar is done in other schools. It should not be happening...While we were sleeping, Islam crept quietly into our public schools. But guess what? It isn't too late to give it the old heave-ho. The question is: how many parents and teachers will be willing to brave the angry cries of "racist!" and "Islamophobe!" and take back their schools?