CAEF Letter to Ted Weltz, Principal of O'Gorman Catholic High School
February 25, 2022
Mr. Ted Weltz
O'Gorman Catholic High School
150 George Avenue
Timmins, ON P4A 4M1
c/o Lea Luxton, School Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mr. Weltz;
The decision of the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) in the matter of Joseph Biagio Dimarco has recently come to our attention. We are sure you are as saddened and horrified as we are at the situation that led to this decision.
Part of the advocacy work of the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation (CAEF) is to review in detail the official records of investigations of antisemitic acts in the education system that are available to public inquiry. We reviewed the OCT Disciplinary Tribunal case exhibits in the Dimarco case, including documentation of the discipline process initiated by the Northeastern Catholic District School Board, and we were very gratified by the thoroughness and efficiency of the investigation.
Nonetheless, we remain very concerned about the lasting effects of Mr. Dimarco's antisemitic teachings. From the case records, it appears that Mr. Dimarco had been a teacher at the school for over two years before a parent complaint was initiated. We therefore surmise that Mr. Dimarco likely engaged in his biased teaching and antisemitic conduct for some time.
We therefore highly recommend that O'Gorman CHS engage in a special course of education on antisemitism and Holocaust denial/distortion to correct the misinformation and bigotry that was communicated and to remediate this grave breach of the school's values and curriculum requirements. CAEF would welcome the opportunity to provide a program and/or recommend qualified educators to deliver a course or workshop that is fully compliant with the Ontario curriculum.
We would also suggest, now that the investigation is complete, that O'Gorman CHS publicly acknowledge the impact of this incident on its website, and engage in outreach to graduated students through a dedicated page on Holocaust education. We are most concerned about those who were present in classes where history was distorted and antisemitism seeded. The International Holocaust Rembrance Day web page published by the Waterloo District School Board https://www.wrdsb.ca/blog/2022/01/27/holocaust-remembrance-day/ would be an excellent starting point.
Again, we thank you, your school's entire administration team, and your Board for the diligence and efficiency in dealing with the disciplinary aspects of this episode, and we would be pleased to support your school in efforts to introduce remediation and address the important topics of Holocaust education and combating antisemitism.