Parents demand Waterloo Catholic trustee’s resignation

  • April 17, 2023

A parent group is calling for the resignation of a first-term Waterloo Catholic school board trustee because of a Twitter post calling “the white Christian male” the world’s biggest threat.

In a release shared on April 6, Parents as First Educators (PAFE) displayed a screenshot of an apparent tweet from trustee Wendy Ashby stating the following: “The most dangerous creature on the planet is the white Christian male. They’re a threat to anyone that is not them.”

This tweet also included the hashtags #truth, #facts, #misogyny, #whiteentitlement and #homophobia.  

Another Ashby tweet shared with PAFE reads, “Hush money. Buying silence about being underpaid. White women make obedient soldiers for the christofacist patriarchy.”

Wendy Ashby SmallWendy Ashby

Amelia Willis, an assistant to PAFE founder Dr. Teresa Pierre, said there “were a lot of aspects to the tweets that were shocking.”

“We are very shocked that a school board trustee would openly say that,” said Willis. “Her statements show that she is clearly unfit to hold any sort of public office. In her tweet about white Christian males, she is discriminating against someone based on their skin colour and religion.”

PAFE has set up a petition demanding Ashby “resign her position as trustee immediately” for “publicly expressing hatred against Christians.” The target is 2,000 signatures; 1,836 has been collected as of April 16.

Willis said PAFE is also encouraging concerned parents and community members to contact the Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) to inform the trustees “that (Ashby) must be held accountable and that people are not happy with her conduct.”

The Catholic Register sought an interview with Ashby, but the trustee did not respond to this query. However, Tracey Weiler, the chair of the WCDSB, offered to share the board’s response to this situation.

“The board of trustees are aware of the concerns that were raised by some community members regarding a recent social media post,” said Weiler. “In speaking with trustee Ashby, she understands that the posted message was inappropriate, and she has immediately shut down her Twitter account and has apologized for the message from her Twitter account.”

This apology, said Weiler, was made by Ashby to her fellow board members. Neither Ashby nor the WCDSB has issued a formal public apology to the school community at large. The Register inquired if there were any plans for such a gesture.

“We are working through our own internal process,” said Weiler. “That will determine any next steps.”

Weiler responded “absolutely” when asked if she had confidence that Ashby would make no mistakes of this nature again. Weiler then recited the trustee's actions to troubleshoot this issue again.

The chair said she has engaged in a direct email dialogue with all of the concerned parents and guardians who have reached out to her.

“We wanted to reaffirm to them that in our Catholic tradition, we have a moral imperative to act intentionally to ensure that those we serve — students, staff, the broader community — are treated with respect and dignity.”

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