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#blacklivesmatter prints by oreeoriginol in toronto

for aiyana stanely-jones, islan nettles, mike brown, eric garner, oscar grant, and the countless unnamed. love n light to all resisting racist state violence from ferguson to scarborough.

DEAR SCARBOROUGH FRIENDS

I posted this on Facebook earlier and seemed to have received a good response, so I’m sharing it with you too in light of the election tomorrow.

In school and at work, we are constantly reminded that we are responsible for our online presence and must be careful with the way we express our opinions online; personally as a potential teacher I cannot say my opinions also represent that of whatever board, school, or classroom I’m part of.

But that makes me wonder: how can a school board trustee openly hashtag ‪#‎TDSB‬ while tweeting things like this?

Sam Sotiropoulos is a TDSB trustee for the Scarborough-Agincourt ward, who recently made headlines regarding his derogatory tweets towards transgender students and gay pride, as well as his denial of the existence of “white privilege” in relation to socio-economic success. Sotiropoulos is not only completely out of touch with matters of human and gender rights as well as issues of class structure, power, and privilege, but is also entirely lacking respect for the identities, intellect, and existence of the students he is supposed to represent. 

Sotiropoulos wants students to learn things like reading and math, but god forbid they develop any critical thinking skills. When he was openly criticized for his ignorance, his first response was that he is entitled to having an opinion. When he was criticized for misrepresenting the TDSB, he argued that students were being used by their teachers and were bullying him, effectively showing his total condescension towards the students who he so desperately believes cannot think for themselves.

SO - WHY AM I WRITING ABOUT THIS?

How anyone can trust a person like this to make decisions for their children and students’ futures is beyond me, but as it stands there have been no corrective actions taken against him, nor has he faced any serious repercussions (despite multiple campaigns and formal complaints with evidence of his violation of board codes of conduct). Because he is an elected government official, it is not within the board’s power to fire him.

The only way you can help change this situation is by VOTING FOR SOMEONE ELSE ON MONDAY. 

DO NOT VOTE FOR HIM. 

VOTE FOR LITERALLY ANYONE ELSE BUT HIM.

Students today are constantly reminded that there are serious consequences for what they say on social media. It is not fair that adults who are paid to represent them are not subject to those same consequences!

But more importantly, social justice is not a fad - it is necessary to our development and growth towards proper equity and equality. 

We cannot move forward as a society if we let people like this make decisions for us. 

PLEASE USE YOUR POWER AS A VOTER.