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Dedicated Longtime Toronto Educator Takes His Own Life After Bullying From DEI Activists

Dedicated Longtime Toronto Educator Takes His Own Life After Bullying From DEI Activists

“Unfortunately, the stress and effects of these incidents continued to plague Richard. Last week he succumbed to this distress. His family and friends have been left reeling and wishing they could have had the chance to convince him that he was loved, respected and needed here. May he rest in peace.”

The ability of the woke left to passionately but respectfully disagree with those who have opposing views is fast becoming a lost art, but where we see obscene levels of intolerance for differing opinions most often is within the education system—in both public and private grade school institutions as well as higher ed.

Unfortunately, sometimes that intolerance leads to smear campaigns by outrage mobs with the intent of silencing and/or canceling the supposedly offending voice by making them persona non grata in public arena and professional circles.

Oftentimes, the conservatives in academia on the receiving end of cancel culture campaigns fight back with everything they have, not just because the reputation they worked hard for is at stake but also because they care very much about the future and their students and want to see them graduate with the tools they need to succeed in life.

But for a few educators, the pressure becomes too much, the fighting against all odds to regain what they’ve worked tirelessly to achieve overwhelms them, and at some point, they decide that life is not worth living anymore. Tragically, we saw a similar scenario play out in 2020 with conservative UNC-Wilmington Professor Mike Adams.

More recently, former Toronto school principal Richard Bilkszto was found deceased, with the cause being suicide according to his lawyer. Bilkszto, as the National Post reported, was a “dedicated” 24-year veteran of the Toronto school system, serving much of that time as a principal with the Toronto District School Board.

In 2021, however, Bilkszto faced accusations during and after a DEI workshop that he was a white supremacist because he dared to disagree with a prominent DEI proponent on her insistence that Canada’s history of racism was worse than that of the United States.

National Post columnist Jamie Sarkonak wrote a detailed report earlier this month on what happened between Bilkszto and the DEI advocate, and the actions he took later when he didn’t feel supported by his colleagues in the Toronto school system:

In April, principal Richard Bilkszto sued TDSB for its failure to defend him in an allegedly hostile DEI training session that took place in 2021, where it was insinuated that he was a white supremacist for defending Canada as a less-racist place than the United States. TDSB has since sued the company that gave the DEI training, the KOJO Institute, for negligence and for breaching contract — asking for damages in the amount it will need to pay Bilkszto if he wins. Late Thursday afternoon, TDSB told the National Post that it plans to discontinue its lawsuit, though the claim is still active.


It all began with a DEI course for TDSB administrators that started in April 2021. DEI trainer Kike Ojo-Thompson (the CEO of the KOJO Institute) led a series of sessions for TDSB higher-ups in which she made a number of familiar progressive arguments, according to Bilkszto’s court filing: Canada is a more racist place than the U.S., Canada is a “bastion of white supremacy and colonialism,” capitalism and the patriarchy are killing people, etc. (The KOJO Institute did not respond to requests for comment for this story by deadline.)


Bilkszto, who had a 24-year career as a principal and previously taught at an inner-city Buffalo school — and witnessed serious differences in how Black and white students were treated there — didn’t think it was fair to call Canada the greater harbourer of racism, according to his court filing. Citing public health care and a more equal funding system for education, he spoke up.


“To sit here and talk about facts and figures and then walk into the classroom tomorrow and say ‘Canada is just as bad as the United States,’ I think we are doing an incredible disservice to our learners,” he told the class.

Ojo-Thompson is described to have reacted with vitriol: “We are here to talk about anti-Black racism, but you in your whiteness think that you can tell me what’s really going on for Black people?” Bilkszto replied that racism is very real, and that there’s plenty of room for improvement — but that the facts still show Canada is a fairer place. Another KOJO training facilitator jumped in, telling Bilkszto that “if you want to be an apologist for the U.S. or Canada, this is really not the forum for that.” Ojo-Thompson concluded the exchange by telling the class that “your job in this work as white people is to believe” — not to question claims of racism.


In the next session, Ojo-Thompson is said to have referred to Bilkszto’s comments as an example of “resistance” that upholds white supremacy. She explained that his reference to “facts” was an attempt to derail the conversation and discredit her words, and encouraged everyone to push back when they see others being “accosted by white supremacy.”

Bilkszto was reportedly a progressive. But to Ojo-Thompson, the fact that he was white and openly expressed disagreement with her was enough to falsely accuse him of racism and to try and make of him an example, allegedly besmirching his good name and reputation in the process.

Though Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board took Bilkszto’s claims of harassment seriously and sided with him, the battle became too much, as Quillette‘s Jonathan Kay explained:

I spoke with Bilkszto several times over the last two years, and he would often email me stories about other Canadians who’d been targeted as heretics. He took a leading role in a group of Toronto educators looking to address the problem of ideological extremism, and brought me in once as a guest speaker in late 2021.

Although Bilkszto and I never met (this was still the COVID era, when almost every meet-up was done over Zoom), we quickly bonded over our shared principles, both of us being traditional urban liberals who’d become concerned by the social-justice fanaticism that now suffused the TDSB.

Yet nothing in my own experience allowed me to fully comprehend the pain that Bilkszto was experiencing. A political progressive who’d devoted more than two decades of his life to the TDSB, Bilkszto never fully recovered from being falsely smeared as a supporter of white supremacy in front of his peers.

Bilkszto’s attorney, Lisa Bildy, shared a statement Thursday announcing that Bilkszto had committed suicide. The reason, she claimed, was everything he had to endure at that seminar and beyond:

“Unfortunately, the stress and effects of these incidents continued to plague Richard. Last week he succumbed to this distress. His family and friends have been left reeling and wishing they could have had the chance to convince him that he was loved, respected and needed here. May he rest in peace.”

Predictably, Ojo-Thompson, in the aftermath of the news of Bilkszto’s passing, protected her tweets, with the only thing coming out of her organization being the following statement:

“We recently learned of the passing of Mr. Richard Bilkszto. We offer our condolences to his loved ones and colleagues during this difficult time.”

The KOJO Institute Facebook page is currently blocking new comments by only allowing users who have “followed” the page for more than 24 hours to comment:

Bilkszto taking his own life has understandably sparked outrage and calls for an investigation into what led to this tragic result, as well as an effort to hold those involved in the smear campaign against him accountable if nowhere else than in the court of public opinion:

Bilkszto’s obituary can be found here. He was 60 years old.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —


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I think a wrongful death action would be appropriate. People who have been slandered might get their lives destroyed.

His mother should sue at least Kike Ojo-Thompson, the KOJO Institute, Sheryl Robinson Petrazzini and TDSB. Ojo_Thompson and Tetrazzini of course should be sued for defamation, the KOJO Institute for that and negligence, and TDSB at minimum for negligence failure to properly vet and hire those vicious, ignorant people.

The US defamation law is an outlier in that it requires actual malice, a standard nearly impossible to meet, but Canada may follow something more like European law.

It will all be washed away in days. Do feel a sorrow for his family but it doesn’t surprise me, Leftism ( Cultural Marxism) is always out to prove one is more a Marxist than the next and the person needs to attack lesser Leftists to show they are a true believer.
I doubt there is any remorse from the accusers

ThePrimordialOrderedPair | July 23, 2023 at 7:01 pm

So … this sounds like the Soviet Union versus Maoist China.

Bilkszto was all butthurt because he maintained that the US is far, far more raaacissstsytyt!!!!! than Canada, and the other leftist idiot said that he was being a dirty, little white supremacist kind of white person.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair | July 23, 2023 at 7:02 pm

You really have to laugh at the DIE chick with the name “Kike”.

The bullying nature of the grievance grifters and race hustlers posing as ‘consultants’ will eventually be their undoing. The whole spiel is that non POC must submit to their ritual humiliation, any resistance or dissent is ‘proof’ of their guilt. It’s a reboot of Maoist tactics. Gotta hand it to leftists, they ain’t original thinkers and love bringing back their old classics like segregation and race baiting.

As the DEI/CRT spreads more and more often the previously progressive folks will be targeted during these sessions b/c the more right wing folks have been previously driven out, quit in disgust or learned to be silent and bide their time.

The very folks with their ‘in this house we believe progressive talking points 1-infinity’ will become by default the targets, as seems to have occurred here. These thin skinned progressives will be shocked and appalled to discover that no matter how ‘woke’ they imagined themselves or the # of times they voted for lefty policies they have now become the hunted and the hated by the viciously ravenous wolf they were happy to feed the rest of us to for all these years.

He acts like a little girl. When the mob disagrees it just makes otherwise banal politics more interesting.

    gonzotx in reply to rhhardin. | July 23, 2023 at 9:20 pm


    Joseph K in reply to rhhardin. | July 24, 2023 at 11:35 am

    That is too harsh but we need to assume that there was a weakness there because he was a leftist after all. I do agree with you that many would relish the fight; and I ride with them. I find myself much more combative and dismissive in these “discussions” anymore. But my opponents don’t control my income. We all know the day will come when it is time to put them under the hooves of our horses, speaking figuratively of course.

texansamurai | July 23, 2023 at 7:59 pm

evidently the deceased was a dedicated and passionate educator of long standing and stellar reputation–his life was worth a thousand kikes–in a more perfect world, having made the decision to depart, he would have taken the kike with him

condolences to his family

    gonzotx in reply to texansamurai. | July 23, 2023 at 9:24 pm

    So you want him to literally murder her?

    Better he contact Jordon Peterson, a fellow traveler and found his inner strength

    He had a family, people loved him

    He had a lot to live for.

    Suicide is never the answer, life is so precious, he would have gotten through this… and now his family, kids, will have to try to pick up the pieces…. And you never really do… never…

      Joseph K in reply to gonzotx. | July 24, 2023 at 12:33 pm

      After reading the fuller explanation of what she did over at NR, I can say that I would not have seen him as a common murderer had he killed her before taking his own life.

The fact that euthanasia is legal in Canada might have something to do with setting the stage for this to happen.

I honestly don’t know if it’s good or bad that Bilkszto doesn’t have sons to avenge him.

Truly sad and infuriating. The vile Leftists and Dumb-o-crats are callous and vindictive Maoists and Stalinists. They don’t care how many lives they destroy, nor, how many people they hurt, in the pursuit of their totalitarian agenda and aims.

Ok, missed the fine print… But still has plenty of relatives his elderly mother has to be crushed

You never want to outlive your children

It’s not natural

I’m so tired of people of “color” and their eternal grievances

And they literally Bank on it

$300,000 to tell white people they are sh!t?

Heck, I’ll do it for 250,000!!!

    mailman in reply to gonzotx. | July 24, 2023 at 5:30 am

    There is good money to be had in being a victim.

      The Gentle Grizzly in reply to mailman. | July 24, 2023 at 8:19 am

      Some victim, She’s doing very well for herself.

      CommoChief in reply to mailman. | July 24, 2023 at 11:09 am

      True that! Look at the feminists who reflexively blame a man, men in general or the ‘patriarchy’ for their own choices. Some modern (feminist) woman decides to be promiscuous and play roulette with the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy? Society says ‘here’s some child support’ and or welfare to bail you out of your poor decision.

      Men don’t become pregnant. Thus they have far lower stakes in choosing to be promiscuous. Biology isn’t about equality or fairness, much less ‘equity’ and no matter how loudly folks state the opposite it won’t overcome basic biological truths.

      Want to reduce the libertine impacts of the sexual revolution undermining society? Easy. Remove the safety net and restore the consequences to women. Most of them will absolutely respond to the negative incentives and modify their actions.

A progressive leftist gets hated on by farther left progressives and decides to say good bye to the world.
Until weak people stand up to the bullies and fight tooth and nail back things will never change.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

The left is under the complete domination and direction of the devil and his fallen angels.

Matthew 7:20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.