Don't Segregate Menstruating Girls in Public Schools
  • Petitioned Chris Spence

This petition was delivered to:

Director of Education, Toronto District School Board, Toronto, CANADA
Chris Spence
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
John Hastings
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
Chris Glover
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
Pamela Gough
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
Howard Kaplan
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
Chris Tonks
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
Irene Atkinson
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
Shelley Laskin
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
Mari Rutka
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
Gerri Gershon
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
Cathy Dandy
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
Sheila Cary-Meagher
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
Elizabeth Moyer
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
David Smith
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
Shaun Chen
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
Jerry Chadwick
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
Jenny Williams
Chief Commissioner, Ontario Human Rights Comission
Barbara Hall
Chair of the Board, Toronto District School Board, Toronto, CANADA
Chris Bolton
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
Stephnie Payne
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
Zane Schwartz
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
Sheila Ward
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
Michael Coteau
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
Howard Goodman
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
Soo Wong
Ontario Minister of Education
Leona Dombrowsky
Ontario Premier
Dalton McGuinty

Don't Segregate Menstruating Girls in Public Schools

    1. Tim Das
    2. Petition by

      Tim Das

      Toronto, Canada

A school should be a safe space for all children. Not a place where 12-year-old girls are treated as second class citizens, and certainly not a place where menstruating girls are ostracized as "unclean" and sent to the back of the "prayer-cafeteria" as third class citizens!

Yes, you read that correctly. Valley Park Middle School in Toronto allows Muslim students to use the cafeteria for Friday prayer, but has decided to segregate their students based on gender. Seventh and eighth grade girls pray behind the boys, separated by tables, while participating girls who have their period must sit on their own in the back of the room, not partaking in the prayer.

Both Canada's left-wing and right-wing national newspapers have run editorials equally decrying this appalling situation and school board decision. The accompanying photo published has provoked outrage at the treatment of these young girls in a publicly-funded school.

While the Toronto District School Board claims they are obligated to provide accommodation for students' faith needs, this segregation violates the Ontario Education Act and the District's own gender equity policy.

Furthermore, the school's practice is condemned by the Muslim Canadian Congress, which is threatening legal action. MCC founder Tarek Fatah stated his concern that "the Toronto District School Board (is) using tax money to tell girls that they are second-class citizens" because of "white, liberal guilt." Fatah elaborated: "Deep inside is a racist view that Muslims are not considered equal human beings, and that they can treat women how they want, and it’s nobody else’s concern." With these major Muslim groups also so strongly in favor of gender equity, the school district should seriously reconsider why its imposing sexist segregation on impressionable students.

Religious accommodations could be made for Muslim students without promoting sexism and gender segregation. Trustee Michael Coteau says that the prayer sessions should be conducted in line with the District's gender equity policy, with girls -- all of them -- praying beside the boys.

Right now, the only "choice" for Muslim girls is to agree to sit behind their male peers, or to not participate in the prayer at all. They should be able to choose to practice their faith in an equitable manner, alongside their male classmates, an option they are denied by the current set-up.

Please sign this petition to call up the Toronto School District Board to respect gender equity and not shame girls for menstruating.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 10,000 signatures
    2. Rally against Islamic Prayers in Secular Schools & Candlelight vigil 9-11

      Tim Das
      by Tim Das
      Petition Organizer

      A multi-faith coalition against Islamic prayers in the TDSB, (Canadian Hindu Advocacy, Jewish Defence League of Canada & Costas Christian Mission) is holding a candlelight vigil in front of the TDSB building in Toronto on Sunday, 9/11 at 8pm.

    3. Fundraiser supporting a legal challenge against Islam & misogyny in schools

      Tim Das
      by Tim Das
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you for all your support - let's continue the fight! Consider attending and/or donating to this fundraiser in Toronto on Thurs Sept 8th. The event will also be a 10th anniversary commemoration of 9-11.

    4. Reached 9,000 signatures
    5. Canadian Council of Muslim Women Releases Press Release on Gender Equity

      Alex DiBranco
      Petition Organizer

      The Canadian Council of Muslim Women has released a press release regarding the school prayer with the recommendation, "Any practices that discriminate against any gender, exclude others or humiliate them are abhorrent and should not be tolerated."

    6. Reached 8,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Christine Gonnermann CALGARY, CANADA
      • almost 3 years ago

      Can't believe this discriminatory rule is being imposed in Canada. Shame on Toronto district School Board. Shame on you.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Megan De BUFFALO, UNITED STATES
      • almost 3 years ago

      As a teacher and someone who lived in Toronto for 11 years I will call, and try to set up a meeting about this. I did not see it happen where I taught, as I worked with high school, but this is horrific and should not be happening in Canada!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Airen Lowenstein PITTSBURGH, PA
      • almost 3 years ago

      How do they know that they are having their periods? Do they go: "Pull down your panties and let us look up your privates so we can segregate you if you are having a natural body function?" This is also sexual (well not assault...but something else I don't know the word for it) because they are somehow looking up girls panties. If they just asked the question, the girls would lie. None of these girls asked to menstruate (I don't know anyone who would). Do the parents even know this is going on? Do the parents actually allow this?

      REALLY CANADA?? I'M SURPRISED!! DID YOU SUDDENLY TURN INTO AMERICA????

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • ellie damann EAGAN, MN
      • almost 3 years ago

      prayer doesn't belong in PUBLIC schools

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Joan Lyons BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
      • almost 3 years ago

      Good ole religion strikes again I'm sure God or your God did not have this in mind when he created Women....

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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