TORONTO, ON, September 16, 2011 ( – A father of a six-year-old student in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) says he was shocked to discover what the school board considers to be “Days of Significance,” reports the Toronto Sun.

In the “Days of Significance”  calendar in his son’s 2011-12 daily planner, Jaak Purres discovered days devoted to transgendered people, prostitution, gender identity, and Dyke marches.

“I was looking through this thing and was shocked,’” said the outraged father. “It’s just bizarre! He’s six. I want him to enjoy being six.”

Purres pointed out that the planner comes from a school that goes only till the 5th grade, “so they are not going to be able to say it was in there for the older kids either. I just don’t get it because the kids in first grade can read.”

Spokesperson for the school board Shari Schwartz-Maltz said that the planner is “not consistent” with what is in most readers throughout the board, reported the Toronto Sun.

However, the “Days of Significance” calendar is available on the board’s own website.

Since news about the planner broke, Chris Bolton, the Chair of the Toronto District School Board, has apologized for the distribution of the planner.

“Any distribution of the agenda books in the schools has been stopped until we get to the bottom of this,” said Bolton, according to NewsTalk 1010. 

Among the “Days of Significance” celebrated in the planner are:

International Transgender Day of Remembrance: November 19th.

This day is set aside to “memorialize those who were killed because of transphobia: anti-transgender hatred or prejudice.” The day also provides an opportunity to “acknowledge one of the most common reasons students are bullied and harassed: their gender identity/expression.” Staff and Students are encouraged to “create awareness” and “organize actions” with the goal of “ending transphobia.”

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers: December 17th.

In “respect of sex work,” this day aims at bringing attention to the sufferings of “sex workers” who lack “access” to “clean safe places” to “work.”

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia: May 17th.

This day addresses the “challenges faced by the LGBTTQ [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Two-spirited, and Queer] community” who “still experience discrimination, harassment and persecution.” The bulletin for the day points out that “homophobia and other forms of gender-based violence remain a serious concern for many TDSB schools.”

LGBTQ Pride Week: June 23rd.

This day brings support to the concept that “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersexed, and two spirited (LGBTTQQI2S) people should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity.” The bulletin for the day mentions that “sexual orientation and gender identity are inherent and cannot be intentionally altered.”

The “Days of Significance” also include Wiccan seasonal festivals with instructions for rites and ritual practices.

Contact Information:

Chair of the TDSB Board
Chris Bolton
Ph: 416-397-3100
Email: [email protected]

Central Coordinating Superintendent
Jim Spyropoulos
Email: [email protected]