Interim Staff

Metro Toronto Separate School Board officials ignored a motion passed unanimously by the school trustees and denied over 4,000 Grade 8 students the opportunity to receive the ‘Who Will Be Today’s Wilberforce?’ pamphlet.

The Wilberforce pamphlet offers a startling comparison of the attitude 200 years ago towards slavery and the attitude many people have today towards abortion. The board had passed a motion that the pamphlet was to be given out to all the English-speaking students attending Grade 8 last year. (There is no French version available).

Over 65,000 of the widely acclaimed pamphlet have been distributed in Canada alone. An American version of the Wilberforce pamphlet is also being printed. It will also appear in its entirety in an English college book being published in Canada this spring as an example of good argumentative writing.

The religious affairs department was accused of deliberately sabotaging the distribution of the pamphlet; including teacher notes, by saying that is was “resource material” which is deemed optional by teachers.

The pamphlet was supposed to be distributed in Respect for Life Week but it was stated that there was too much going on during that week for it to be given out.

Superintendent Norm Forma admitted that the pamphlet was not resource material and said that it was going to be given out next year in Respect for Life Week. Forma did not explain how the unknown number of Grade 8 teachers who did give out the Wilberforce pamphlets would be able to provide this year’s grade 8 classes with Wilberforce pamphlets if they don’t have any.

Unfortunately over 4,000 Grade 8 students in the Catholic schools last year were denied this strong argument against abortion. It was deemed a deliberate attempt by senior staff, said Trustee Michael Doyle, to sabotage the initiative.