Public school board now investigating a Peel Region principal’s social media post disputing a rise in antisemitism

The principal of a Peel Region public school will not be at work while the school board investigates a social media post that appears to dismiss or distort reports of rising antisemitism in the Greater Toronto Area.

Peel District School Board (PDSB) officials confirmed that Rich Ward, the principal of Tribune Drive Public School in Brampton will not be present at the school.

“I can confirm that this matter is currently under investigation, and in the meantime this individual will not be at the school,” said school board spokesperson Malon Edwards in an email to The CJN.

Edwards declined to comment further on specifics, saying the board cannot discuss confidential human resource matters.

A social media post on Nov. 12 showed a screen capture of a tweet by Rich Ward.

Replying to a tweet about a news story on the rise in antisemitic incidents in the city, the account @ward_rich, believed to be that of the school principal, tweeted: “Your headline rewritten for accuracy: Anti-Zionism has skyrocketed in the wake of the the (sic) Israel-led genocide in Palestine.”

Edwards referred The CJN to a statement on the board’s website Oct. 17 addressing antisemitism and Islamophobia, in which Rashmi Swarup, the board’s director of education, wrote in part:

“All staff and students have the right to feel safe and included in their learning and work environments in caring and supportive ways. 

“At PDSB, we are deeply committed to nurturing inclusive and identity-affirming spaces where the humanity of all students, staff and communities are centred. We are focused on serving students and staff with compassion and care while upholding their dignity and human rights.

“As always, the safety and well-being of all students and staff is of paramount importance to us.”