Ontario Trustee Quits Amid Investigations for Posts Critical of Gender Ideology in Schools

by EditorK

Students head to school buses after school, in this file photo. (Geoff Robins/AFP via Getty Images)

Chandra Philip
By Chandra Philip 

An Ontario trustee has resigned amid several investigations of her social media posts over alleged code of conduct violations.

The Durham District School Board (DDSB) said it accepted the resignation of Linda Stone on March 27.

“At a Special Board Meeting held on Wednesday, March 27, 2024, the Board of Trustees accepted Trustee Stone’s resignation,” the school board said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

“The Board of Trustees will be considering next steps in filling the vacancy at a future meeting of the Board.”

Ms. Stone said that she would “carry on” but not on the board.

“I will carry on. Just not in a board full of cowards, leftists and bullies, with compassionless trustees who are clueless about the issues,” she said in a March 30 post on X.

Ms. Stone’s resignation comes two weeks after reports from the integrity commission were discussed, according to school board meeting documents.

In total, five investigations were conducted on trustees, including three on Ms. Stone, the documents said. The other trustees who were investigated were Deb Oldfield and Emma Cunningham.

The school board says that the investigations “found that Trustee Stone breached the Code of Conduct in making certain social media posts.”

Trustees voted on sanctions for Ms. Stone during a March 4 special meeting, including a ban from the May 21 meeting, as well as barring her from all board committees until June 30, 2025.

“To be the only DDSB trustee fighting for the safety of children against gender ideology, drugs, irreversible damage and then to be silenced by the other DDSB trustees would be laughable if it weren’t so bloody terrible,” Ms. Stone posted to her X account on March 11. “Can’t understand why they don’t care about these children.”

Report 1

Among the complaints against Ms. Stone was that she posted “dangerous” comments on Facebook. A complaint noted that she attended the March for Children, “where she marched against the [B]oard that she worked for. This march spread lies and hate against the LBGTQTS2+ communities,” according to one of the investigation reports. The March, held in Sept. 20, 2023, asked for upholding parental rights.

One of the social media posts that was alleged to have violated the code was a link to a speech made at the Million Person March for Children on Sept. 20, 2023. Ms. Stone wrote, “Excellent speech” by parental rights activist Shannon Boschy in Ottawa.

The speech called for advocates to eliminate “woke” school boards, according to the integrity commissioner.

The report said that Ms. Stone’s approval of the speech “undercuts the objective of having a positive school climate that is inclusive and accepting of all pupils.”

“It also is likely to have a negative impact on public confidence in the abilities and integrity of the DDSB and fails to address DDSB’s policies in a constructive manner,” it stated.

Ms. Stone told the commissioner that she was “exercising freedom of expression,” according to the report.

“She articulates the view that people should not be prevented from expressing opinions that may differ from the opinions of others,” the commissioner wrote. However, the commissioner added, as a trustee, that freedom is not unlimited.

“Trustees must comply with the Code of Conduct that they agreed to be bound by as a condition of taking the role,” the commissioner wrote.

Another social media post included a link to a speech that Ms. Stone made in Pickering during the Million Person March for Children, where she “expresses disproval” of gender ideology in schools, the report says.

“In this speech, Trustee Stone criticizes the actions of school boards strongly. In doing so she presents her point of view in a way that is essentially an emotional call to action, rather than an impartial presentation of what she sees as the issues,” the commissioner wrote.

Ms. Stone told the commissioner that she had been invited to speak at the event, and shared the concerns of the parents attending.

“Her belief is that students are being harmed by ‘gender ideology’ in the school system,” the report noted, adding that “she believes her actions are repairing a ‘lack of confidence in the board by thousands of parents,’ who do not feel heard.”

The investigation concluded that, despite Ms. Stone’s beliefs,  the speech violated the code as she did not “inspire public confidence in the abilities and integrity of the Board” or behave “in a constructive and respectful manner.”

The Epoch Times contacted Ms. Stone and the DDSB for comment.

Report 2

Another complaint, which prompted an additional investigation into Ms. Stone, was that she published the full name of a parent on her Facebook page, which caused “personal harm” to the individual and their family, the complaint said.

However, in this case, the commissioner said that Ms. Stone had not violated the code by publicly naming the individual.

“In our opinion, Trustee Stone’s comments naming the complainant were not patently discriminatory or harassing,” the report said. “They appeared largely to reflect policy disagreements about sexual orientation and gender identity issues.”

Trustee Stone told the commissioner that she didn’t think it was against the law to use the name and that her comments were part of the conversation, not an attempt at “calling out” the individual.

Report 3

The final investigation into Ms. Stone’s recent online activities centres around a post that criticized the Ontario Principals Council (OPC) for its post celebrating 2SLGBTQQIA+ History Month.

Re-posting the OPC statement on her Facebook page, Ms. Stone added, “From principals who don’t care that October is Women’s History month.”

She later regretted the post, the commissioner said.

“She acknowledged that she posted hastily and without full knowledge of the situation,” he said in the report, adding she had said the OPC post was brought to her attention by frustrated parents. She assumed the OPC had not made a statement about Women’s History Month, which she later found to be untrue.

Ms. Stone acknowledged the OPC had recognized Women’s History Month in a subsequent post on X, the commissioner wrote.

“Trustee Stone accordingly added a supplementary comment to her initial post in which she acknowledged her error,” he said.

Previous Sanctions

Ms. Stone had already been sanctioned by the board in 2023 for social media comments and questioning the language used in the DDSB Human Rights Policy.

At that time, a 55-page document laid out the complaints against Ms. Stone, including social media posts and comments she made at meetings.

It’s not the first time that Ms. Stone resigned from her position. In May 2022, she resigned over complaints about her online posts, according to local media.

DDSB said at the time that it did not monitor the social media account.

“The comments made are contrary to the commitment, values, and actions of the Durham District School Board and our responsibility to promote and respect the Ontario Human Rights Code,” a May 13, 2022, statement said. “We strive to create learning and working environments that are safe, equitable, inclusive, respectful, and welcoming of all identities.”

Ms. Stone was re-elected in the fall of 2022.


Tara MacIsaac contributed to this report. 

Chandra Philip is a news reporter with the Canadian edition of The Epoch Times.


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