Lawrence Greenspon to Defend CFN vs UCDSB Over Swastikas in CCVS by Jamie Gilcig MARCH 26, 2017

Lawrence Greenspon to Defend CFN vs UCDSB Over Swastikas in CCVS by Jamie Gilcig MARCH 26, 2017

Cornwall Ontario – What should happen when Swastikas or other Hate Graffiti are discovered in a school washroom?

If you’re York University, or a high school in Brockville Ontario, or this high school in the US, perhaps a letter like this outlines the appropriate actions?

Dear Students, Parents and Guardians,

I want to share with you information about an event that took place at Westland.  I am sending you this letter to give you the facts and to assure you that we are addressing this incident.

One of our boys’ bathrooms was vandalized with multiple images of swastikas drawn in ink pen, in pencil and with glue stick. 

Once we were informed about the images we immediately secured the location, contacted the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) and contacted the Montgomery County Public Schools office of school support and improvement.  After appropriate documentation by our staff and by the police our building services staff removed the vandalism.

We are very saddened by this incident.  This type of behavior will not be tolerated.  Once the culprit(s) are identified, consequences will be administered in accordance with the MCPS Student Code of Conduct.

We will continue to work closely with police, as well as MCPS security, on this investigation.   If you have further questions, please call the school at 301.320.6515.

Sincerely,          

Alison L. Serino   Principal

That sadly didn’t happen when former CCVS and current Glengarry High School principal Patricia “Trish” Brown was informed of Swastikas in a boy’s washroom not once, but three times by a former resident of Cornwall Ontario who cited this experience as a factor in their leaving the community.

The man had lost family in the Holocaust and after two weekly attempts by phone, and one in person, asked this writer to attend the school where the Swastikas were still in the same location after about a month.

A VP at the school notified this writer within an hour that the hate graffiti was removed, and apologized.  At that point I’d written a story which was picked up in print and online.

Now kids are kids.   Graffiti happens, and CCVS I was told had a team for its removal, and is normally a very clean facility.

The school’s reaction was to bring in a speaker to talk to the kids, but the real issue in many people’s eyes was Principal Brown not removing the Swastikas in a reasonable amount of time; or frankly at all as it was VP Jason Wagensveld (who’s now been promoted to principal of Viscount Alexander Public School) that had them covered.

David K Thomas, the former head of the UCDSB was allowed to mysteriously retire, and Trish was moved on to Glengarry High, as she’d moved from TAGWI before that.   There is a parent who has alleged that Principal Brown’s handling, or mishandling, of a case of bullying of her sons led to her departure from TAGWI to CCVS.  That matter is still under investigation.

The school board hired a major Toronto Law Firm (Miller Thomson) after I wrote that in my opinion at that time I felt that Ms Brown was racist.   They issued suit for $75,000, which was dropped after I removed the stories.  In other words, bury the story or else….

Then York University in Toronto had its own Swastika incident.  I again wrote about it and again Miller Thomson  went on the attack, and this time after consulting a local lawyer, was told that I might not be able to prove that Principal Brown was in fact racist.   The law works differently than we lay people do.    Again, that content came down.

Then the Brockville incident.   This time however I explained about the racism comment and asked our viewers to vote on their definition.

What Would You Term Former CCVS Principal Trish Brown Leaving Swastikas in CCVS for nearly a Month?

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Sure enough our viewers didn’t feel it was racism, but this time when Miller Thomson essentially sent the same copy and paste threat I decided to stand my ground.

Excerpts unedited of their letter.

As someone that’s written over 10,000 pieces on CFN without ever having to write a cheque for not writing the truth; (or any other reason) being told by a lawyer that what I’ve written was a lie was frankly insulting.   I sent a letter back to the School board via Miller Thomson.  (unedited)

WITHOUT PREJUDICE
 
Please inform your client (the Upper Canada District School board)  that they have twenty four (24) hours from receipt of this email to publish an apology to myself, and the community of Cornwall for their actions in this horrible abuse of power on their website, social media, and on all Cornwall area media outlets at their own cost..
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Furthermore the UCDSB will donate at least $25,000.00 to the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Toronto.   LINK
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Whomever at the school board is responsible for initiating this latest action, and previous acts of threats and bullying to myself, as well as the handling of the situation that not only didn’t see police called in when the swastikas were discovered, but when it came to light that they had not been removed in a reasonable amount of time,  will immediately resign or be removed from their positions.
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The remaining board members, if any,  will immediately initiate sensitivity training regarding anti-semitism and racism.
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The remaining board members, if any,  will announce an initiative to support diversity on its own board which currently shows no visible minorities.
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A proper outside investigation of former Board Director David Thomas and Principal Brown will be made including the incident at TAGWI that occurred shortly before she left.  Proper actions will be taken after said investigation.
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Please confirm delivery of this email to your client, and their response.
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The World is now watching, and if all of these terms are not met then appropriate actions will be taken.
Diversity and sensitivity may be an issue for the school board which has no visible minorities on its board or senior management.

It seems boggling that a school board would be burning through major legal cash when it’s closing twelve area schools  including CCVS, and getting worse rankings for its local secondary schools according to the Fraser Institute as well.

It was at this point that famed Ottawa attorney Lawrence Greenspon of Greenspon, Brown & Associates agreed to defend any action in this David and Goliath case.

I seek no personal gain.  At the end if any monies are won they will be donated to the Simon Wiesenthal Centre after legal costs.   Frankly I think the demands in my letter to the UCDSB via Miller Thomson are quite reasonable given the scope of what’s happened.

Sometimes in life we have to stand up for what’s right.  And when we do it’s always better when others stand up with us.    The only way to defeat certain behaviors is to stand up and stay your ground.

This is a community where Racism and Anti-Semitism do exist.

When this was posted on social media the public defended the use of the term “Jewed” which clearly was racist in the context of its use.

I would like to see this situation eventually educate and help make this a better community, and make sure that we’re raising better children who while becoming more sensitive to the perils of racism, also learn about accountability and how to become responsible adults in a better fashion and deal with issues like this when they occur.

At this point someone or some people have to take account for what’s transpired.    I also am going to be accountable and apologize to Principal Brown for calling her a racist.  Here is my apology:

After much consideration I have decided to apologize for any confusion or offense regarding the use of the term racist in sharing my opinion about the actions of former CCVS, and current Glengarry District High school Secondary Principal Patricia (Trish) Brown who left  swastikas up in a washroom at the school for approximately one month instead of having them promptly removed.

My use of the term came from my root experience of having lost so many family members to the Holocaust; from researching Nazi Germany, and in particular the diaries and works of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels for the work I created which resulted in the 2003 Oscar nominated Best Feature Documentary Prisoner of Paradise, and from my experience with Anti Semitism, and Racism in the Cornwall & SD&G Area.
I now understand that we come from different perspectives, and that there may be in fact another explanation as to why Ms Brown, after repeated requests by another adult that had lost family in the Holocaust, did not have the swastikas promptly removed, or call the police and report them.
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At the end of the day is this issue really about graffiti, or my use of a term, or is it about the actions or lack thereof of a Principal entrusted with not only the education, but security of the children that attend a school?
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What do you think dear CFN viewers?  You can post your comments below.

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29 Comments on "Lawrence Greenspon to Defend CFN vs UCDSB Over Swastikas in CCVS by Jamie Gilcig MARCH 26, 2017"

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Lassie
Guest

Shutting down Patricia Brown and David Thomas instead of schools would be nice.

Effe
Guest

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Miss Steak
Guest

Way to go Jamie! Hopefully things will be rectified and the School Board will be made to realize that sometimes she was negligent in her duties. These symbols should have been removed the moment they were reported. If it was incompetence as so many seem to think, then she should face the music and apologize. We are all human, aren’t we?

Pete Walbee
Guest

Greenspon is the best legal counsel you can get. UCDSB are wrong for not taking action when this happened at CCVS. The police should have been called to investigate this. I consider this a hate crime against the Jewish community. Looks like Patricia Brown needs a history lesson. Shame on her and the UCDSB.

Hugger1
Guest

Good luck Jamie. Fighting the system is never easy.

Hugger1
Guest

I sort of agree with you Admin. The people don’t really enable them, but having boatloads of money helps cliques, etc. get what they want. But we could discuss to the cows come home on what causes things like this to happen.

Hugger1
Guest

Sorry, but I can’t agree and won’t agree with those statements. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. We agree to disagree. You see it one way I see it another. If we all agreed it would make the world a very boring place. Anyways I’m done with this discussion. Good luck.

David Oldham
Guest

In my opinion when an individual in a position of authority idlely chooses to stand by and do nothing or is painfully slow in reacting they are sending a poor message. Could this type of conduct be interpreted as racist? In my opinion the answer could well be yes. Lest We Forget.

David Oldha
Guest

Unfortunately Canadians do not enjoy “freedom of speech” rather we have “freedom of expression” which is subject to government veto. Slowly even this limited “right” is being eroded with the passage of motions such as M103. Multiculturalism is a divisive policy which has been repealed by other forward looking nations (France for one). Good luck Admin.

MaryAnne
Guest

Difficult to imagine why this opportunity for an educator and principal to show leadership went so wrong. Many with “titles” don’t get the responsibility of carrying one. And when given the opportunity to rise, cave. Mr. Greenspon’s choice to support CFN’s assisting the victim(s) is remarkable and at the same time simply right.

jules
Guest

Jamie this is a much bigger problem than what you know and Islam is being taught in public schools and I read that in Catholic schools as well which made me very sick. I just looked about Australia – the same problem and I wanted to leave Canada for Australia. This is gone completely insane. No help for Christians, Jews, etc. Look at the video I sent you and much more on line.

jules
Guest

Lawrence Greenspon is an excellent lawyer and I wish that he could put Jihadi (MODERATED BECAUSE JULES KNOWS SHE CAN’T USE CERTAIN TERMS) immediately because if not it is going to get a great deal worse. I am very sick over everything and cannot sleep.

Hugger1
Guest

Further to comments about standing up to cliques. It is a lot easier to stand up to them when you don’t have family in this city. Having family here you have to take that into account when / if you decide to stand up to the clique. Having family here that can be hurt by the clique you have to be concerned on what can happen to them as well, not just yourself. It isn’t always black & white.

Hugger1
Guest

While I agree with what you said in principle. Try seeing it from the other side. I have family who can and would be hurt if I posted without a pseudonym. This has been going on for so long I doubt if Cornwall will ever get rid of the clique. Defeatist culture? Perhaps. But I choose to protect my family, not put them in harm’s way. That’s how families work best, protection. Enough said.

Hugger1
Guest

Agreed. But I am done with this topic. We will never agree. As we’ve both said we have better things to do.

Hugger1
Guest

Agreed. I’ve donated before. But with my expenses rising faster than my pension I’ve had to cut back on donations to organizations and charities. I’m very picky now whom I donate to. Sad but true unfortunately.

jules
Guest

Jamie we went through racism in Cornwall and I can tell you that Cornwall cops didn’t do a damn thing and I can vouch and swear on both Bibles here that we would never ever return. Good people do not live in Cornwall – everyone who has a brain leaves. We went through hell and never ever to go through that ever again.

Hugger1
Guest

I enjoy a good discussion. However when both sides think they are right it’s best to end it agreeing to disagree. Both sides think they have valid points, which is probably correct in their eyes. Continuing to batter each other with points and counterpoints means no one wins except the readers. And then it becomes about click throughs.

jules
Guest

Jamie I have to be wacky to live in this country and this world today. I am so very different and a very CONSERVATIVE person and I don’t agree how Cornwall is run nor the country itself. Cornwall is doomed and so is Canada. When one does not know the real history of the world and the countries then they are doomed to repeat it.

jules
Guest

Jamie I am thinking of a certain cop from Cornwall who was ostracized by his own cop force and by the sheeple of Cornwall and the clique. That name is PERRY DUNLOP and the living hell that man went through along with his family that they left with their lives and Perry was put in jail for not wanting to testify because he knew what Cornwall was about just like I do and so many others.

David Oldham
Guest

Hugger take heart things could be worse. Just imagine how things might be if Liberalism ruled this province. Imagine what it might be like if public spending was out of control. Or if the energy file was mismanaged. Or if leadership thought that budgets balanced themselves. Relax, everything if good if you spend like there is no tomorrow.

Julie Bilotta
Guest

You’re in good hands Jamie! Hiring Lawrence as my criminal and civil lawyer was the best decision I made he’s a great man and always has had my best interests in mind!

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