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Help Mike Del Grande win his legal battle: LifeFunder

(Campaign Life Coalition) — On January 25 the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) held its fourth day of hearings in the trial of faithful Catholic school trustee Mike Del Grande.

The goal of the hearing is to find him guilty of “teacher misconduct” and strip him of his teacher’s license (despite him never having worked as a teacher).

Everybody knows this is really a political exercise to make an example of him, and send a warning to other Christian politicians that, “This can happen to you if you dare oppose transgender ideology.”

The day consisted of the defense’s cross-examination of the now 20-year-old Taylor Dallin, who is currently studying law and political science at Yale University. She’s the key witness who accused Del Grande of “yelling” and “shouting” at her during a September 2019 Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) meeting when she was a 16-year-old student trustee, and served as his board colleague.

Del Grande denies ever yelling or shouting.

He insists they were simply engaged in a heated yet quite normal debate on the topic of abortion, as peers on the board of trustees. Dallin herself had raised the topic with controversial remarks earlier in the board meeting when she objected to showing students the pro-life movie called Unplanned, alleging it was “dangerous,” and identifying herself as “pro-choice.”

This trial is also based on a second accusation that Ms. Dallin made against Del Grande back in 2019 in which she accused him of offending the “LGBTQ+ community.” He allegedly hurt the feelings of members of that decidedly non-Catholic “community” and made them feel “unsafe” when he argued that allowing gender ideology into the TCDSB’s code of conduct would be a slippery slope.

A voice for ‘menstruating persons’

During cross-examination, defense counsel asked Dallin to describe who she felt it was her job as an elected student trustee to represent. Unsurprisingly, given her public opposition to Catholic moral teaching on homosexuality, she quickly offered that her trustee duties included representing the voice of the LGBTQ+ students in the TCDSB.

No mention was made of representing traditional Catholic students who adhere to Church teachings.

A bit later she expanded her answer, saying her constituency included, “being a voice for the voiceless… including menstruating persons.”

Menstruating persons?

Not “females”?

Not “girls”?

It would appear this woke, former student trustee believes in banning the words “females” and “girls,” in favor of the trans-approved newspeak term, “menstruating persons.” To pro-LGBT ideologues like Dallin, banning words is necessary to protect the idea that men can have periods too.

Pro-abortion trustee in a Catholic school

Del Grande’s lawyer, Dr. Charles Lugosi, seized on Dallin’s comment about being a “voice for the voiceless… including menstruating persons.”

Referencing what Del Grande had asked her during that original 2019 debate in the TCDSB Trustee board room which led her to complain she had been harassed, Lugosi asked: “Didn’t Trustee Del Grande ask you, ‘Who speaks for the unborn?’”

Lugosi immediately followed it with his own question to Dallin about whether her perceived duty to be a voice for the voiceless should include unborn children who are killed by abortion.

“Doesn’t that mean your being a voice for the voiceless should include these?” questioned Lugosi.

Somewhat angrily, she responded: “Well, that’s getting into the weeds of the ‘personhood’ argument, and it’s irrelevant.”

During cross-examination, Dallin reiterated that she identified as “pro-choice” on the issue of abortion at the time she served as a TCDSB student trustee and still does today. In fact, she fought hard against a 2019 motion to show the wonderful pro-life movie, Unplanned, at TCDSB schools.

Unplanned tells the true story of Abby Johnson, a Planned Parenthood abortion worker who converted to being pro-life after watching an ultrasound-guided abortion.

Dallin argued to the board that she researched the movie and found medical doctors who claimed that the movie was scientifically “misleading” and presented “dangerous information” that Dallin felt could be harmful to students.

Lugosi asked Dallin: “Do you acknowledge that opposition to abortion is Church teaching?”

Without laughing, Dallin responded: “It depends who you ask. A great number of Catholics believe differently. And Catholic social teaching exists to support this view.”

Lugosi then reminded her that during the heated debate in question, Del Grande had shared with her that various popes have proclaimed that opposition to abortion is Catholic teaching. He reminded her that Del Grande had also provided her with the names of some of those Church documents. To this Dallin admitted, “Yes, I remember he mentioned various documents.”

“Is it a Catholic graduate expectation to be pro-life?” Lugosi then asked.

“Not explicitly stated,” answered Dallin.

“Was it implied?”  Lugosi countered.

“Potentially, I guess,” Dallin admitted after a moment of reflection.

How can Catholic schools possibly survive when student trustees are allowed to harbor such anti-Catholic beliefs on fundamental doctrinal issues like abortion and human sexuality?

Witness refuses to answer if she is LGBTQ+

At another point, Dallin was describing Del Grande’s slippery slope motion in opposition to gender theory. She said:

His appalling comments to deny a person’s identity were offensive, not only to myself, but to other members of the LGBTQ+ community. (emphasis added in bold)

Perceiving this statement as an admission that she herself is LGBTQ+, Lugosi asked: “Do you identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community?”

Dallin was silent for a few seconds, with her mouth open, obviously trying to figure out how to respond. Just then, as it looked like she might begin to answer, the lawyer for the OCT stepped in to address the tribunal chair, and argued that Dallin’s identity was “irrelevant”, and that the defense’s question was impermissible.

Lugosi countered, telling the tribunal panel: “How she identifies is relevant to the discussion in the boardroom where she and Mr. Del Grande had a discussion about Catholic teaching and her position which was not aligned with those Catholic teachings.”

Lugosi pointed out that earlier in the hearing, she had mentioned that her mantra was to be “loud and proud” in her advocacy for LGBTQ+ students, so she should be permitted, as an adult, to answer the question if she wants.

The tribunal judges then took a recess to discuss among themselves whether the question was permissible. After several minutes, they announced their ruling: “Ms. Dallin can answer if she’d like to, but does not need to.”

Lugosi rephrased the question, to which Dallin responded: “No. I would prefer not to answer.”

Therefore, in my view, the question remains whether Dallin identifies as LGBTQ, and did at the time of the heated discussion with trustee Del Grande in the board room back in 2019.

If she viewed herself as lesbian, gay, transgender or non-binary, to pick a few examples of the many identities that now exist, I would imagine that the question of bias becomes important. Both in regard to her original complaint filed against Del Grande in 2019, and now as a witness to the OCT hearing.

It also raises serious philosophical and existential questions for Ontario’s Catholic education system. If students who are publicly pro-abortion and openly reject the Church’s teachings on marriage and human sexuality are allowed to drive school board policy decisions, are these still “Catholic” schools in any meaningful sense of the word?

Why would students who disagree with Church teaching, or who practice lifestyles prohibited by the Church, even want to attend a Catholic school?

Help Mike Del Grande win his legal battle

Witness admitted key elements of Mike’s defense

In the end, Trustee Del Grande’s lawyer got Dallin to admit to some key facts of his defense in terms of the proper scope of authority of the OCT:

  • Del Grande was never her teacher
  • She was never his student
  • The discussions at the heart of this complaint took place in the private chamber reserved for school trustees
  • He spoke to her as a fellow trustee
  • She spoke to her as a fellow trustee

This is all outside the mandate of the OTC, which is narrowly constrained to regulating the profession of teaching. It has no mandate to police the speech of elected school trustees.

Dallin also admitted some key facts that help the defense in terms of procedural fairness and administrative justice:

  • She never filed a complaint against Mike with the OTC. Yet, it is her old complaint at the TCDSB from three years earlier which is being used against him.
  • She was “invited” or “recruited” by the lawyers for the OTC prosecution to repeat allegations of misconduct that were dismissed by the school board on August 20, 2020 and was never reconsidered by the board.

These facts raise serious questions in my mind. Why is the OTC pursuing this when the profession of teaching is not involved? Why can a hearing proceed in the absence of a complaint by a complainant?

Is this whole thing an exercise organized by the OCT itself, without any genuine complainant, to persecute Mike Del Grande for religious beliefs with which it disagrees?

Stand with Mike

The next OCT hearing date will be on February 22. There will be at least four more tribunal days after that. Defending Catholic teaching in our schools is a very expensive proposition for Mike Del Grande.

Would you please donate to his legal defense fund, so he can continue to defend the faith … and the spiritual well-being of the next generation?