September 28, 2023

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Science is worth exploring

More males wanted in education, just not ones like Richard Bilkszto

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I’ve heard it repeated at every level and corner of the education profession for over 30 years. It echoes non-stop among faculty of education professors and among teachers, principals, trustees, psychologists, guidance counsellors, superintendents and parents.

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“We need more males in education” is our education system’s tired, unfulfilled refrain. Today, as in the past, women continue to overwhelmingly dominate the elementary level and are now a majority in secondary teaching positions and administration.

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But while our increasingly permissive, woke-infused, violence-ridden schools and their burgeoning female staff cry for more males in education, do they really want those ever-elusive new male teachers to be men? Real principled men like Richard Bilkszto, who tragically took his own life on July 13 after being bullied and cancelled by school staff and leadership for reportedly daring to question disparaging and utterly false assertions of Canada’s history during a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) session. Tragically, innocent Richard Bilkszto was crucified on the cross of anti-white hatred and Canada-bashing historical revisionism.

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So you may rightfully ask at this point: What does Bilkszto’s cancellation, legal battle and suicide have to do with the need to have more males in education and reverse the ongoing feminization of the profession? While I never personally knew or taught with Bilkszto, the extensive factual reporting of his commitment to education and anti-racism, the shameful retribution he had to patiently endure and his brave attempt to employ legal means to clear his good name ironically symbolize many of the attributes our education system claims to look for in male teachers.

Ironic, yes, but true.

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First and foremost was his tireless commitment to standing as a robust, positive and nurturing male role model. Strong positive male role models can make a difference, particularly to boys who are increasingly growing up without fathers and without any positive, educated male role model inside and outside of school. But being a role model invariably can involve taking a stand on issues. Perspectives that often go against the grain. Like Bilkszto’s respectful questioning of his DEI instructor.

But the plain truth is that any claim that more males should be in teaching logically implies embracing the “whole package” that might come with having strong, intelligent, unapologetic cis men teach our boys and girls from a man’s perspective. As I have observed first-hand and commented on before, men in education (especially in the elementary panel) are often perceived, without an iota of proof, as closet predators and emotional abusers, especially when they are perceived to assume a tone or manner in their teaching or disciplinary approach considered “typically male” or unfeminine.

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Yet the reality is that boys and men tend to learn differently and will obviously express their emotions and intelligence differently. This includes how empathy is expressed and how agreeable or non-agreeable the male teacher or student might be with the school or outside authority.

Add to this reality the aggravating political baggage that comes with today’s female-dominated education community’s near saint-like compliance and forbearance with the false dogmas fuelling decolonization, Canada-bashing, critical race theory and so-called “white privilege.” Put all of the above together and you can almost sympathize, if only briefly, with the Toronto District School Board educational staff and leadership shaming and cancelling Bilkszto.

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But like a real moral man, Bilkszto reportedly engaged his civil options within the law when attacked and cancelled. Is not that old-fashioned idea of men standing up lawfully for their community, their dependants, their country and the pride and dignity of all an admirable, manly quality? Apparently, not so at TDSB. Ironically, the Ontario Education Act still states — 264 (1) — that the duties of a teacher include “to inculcate by precept and example respect for religion and the principles of Judaeo-Christian morality and the highest regard for truth, justice, loyalty, love of country (my emphasis), humanity, benevolence, sobriety, industry, frugality, purity, temperance and all other virtues.” How many of these western, liberal, Judaeo-Christian-inspired concepts of patriotism, justice, rights and freedoms will be further sacrificed in schools on the altar of radical, anti-western woke ideology remains to be seen.

What can be sure is that today’s female teachers and administrators should re-examine their professed desire for more males in education. Is it really “men” you want in the classroom or some carefully prescribed living version of Barbie’s Ken?

Smol is a retired teacher and military veteran who has written extensively on education, defence and veteran issues and now works as a security professional and paralegal while completing a PhD in military history; he can be reached at [email protected]

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