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Toronto teacher put on home assignment after vaccine mandates compared to yellow stars worn in Holocaust


A Toronto District School Board (TDSB) teacher has been put on home assignment after allegedly comparing COVID-19 vaccine mandates to the yellow star of David that Jews were forced to wear as identifiers during the Holocaust.

The incident was described in a letter sent home Tuesday to parents and guardians of students at Ledbury Park Elementary and Middle School, near Bathurst Street and Lawrence Avenue in North York.

“We are writing to inform you about an antisemitic incident that occurred last week, which your child may have witnessed or heard about,” Interim Principal Serge Parravano wrote in a letter describing the incident.

He went on to say that the teacher has been removed from the classroom and is now on home assignment pending an investigation.

Parravano called the incident “very upsetting and unacceptable” and said that it is “not reflective of who we are and what we stand for as a school and as a community.”

“On behalf of Ledbury Park Elementary and Middle School, we acknowledge and regret the harm this incident caused to members of our school community and to our shared school climate,” he wrote. “We are committed to the work of intentionally identifying, interrupting, and addressing racism and discrimination in our school, with a focus on antisemitism.”

The yellow star of David was a symbol Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Germany, based on their religious and ethnic identity, as part of a project to dehumanize and eventually murder them.

By contrast, vaccine mandates have been implemented by governments around the world, on the advice of public health experts, as a way to help curb the spread of the highly infectious and potentially deadly COVID-19 virus from person to person.

Protests against vaccine mandates have increasingly appropriated Holocaust imagery, a move that has been denounced by Jewish groups and Holocaust educators as deeply offensive, misguided and as a trivialization of the genocide.

The school said that it will be working with students to address the matter, including having the daughter of a holocaust survivor come in to share her family’s personal history with students.

News of the incident comes the same day the TDSB reported that it was dealing with two new antisemitic incidents at its schools. Top Stories

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