Toronto Schools Bans Word ‘Chief’ As Offensive
Because it’s “derogatory” somehow.
by Brian Lilley
So, gone are terms like “chief caretaker” or “chief superintendent” out of fears of offending people that often refer to their own leaders as “chief.” The current head of the largest aboriginal, indigenous or Indian group in Canada – please choose your language carefully – is a man named Perry Bellegarde who holds the title of “National Chief.”
That hasn’t stopped the largest school district in the country from banning the word though, as reported on by columnist Christie Blatchford of National Post.
“I can confirm that the title ‘chief’ is being phased out in various departments at the TDSB,” board spokesman Ryan Bird told Postmedia in an email Tuesday. “It’s part of the ongoing work that the school board does through the TDSB’s Aboriginal Education Centre.”
Here’s the thing: the word “chief” is not a derogatory term in any sense and comes to us from Middle English, through Old French and ultimately derives from the Latin word caput, meaning head. The Merriam Webster online dictionary defines “chief” as “accorded highest rank or office” and gives the examples of “chief librarian” and “the company’s chief executive.”
One has to wonder if the term CEO, meaning Chief Executive Officer” will now be banned in Toronto schools.
Columnist Blatchford points out that several key people, chiefs even, will need to not only change their titles but also their resumes with these changes.
Presumably, board chair John Malloy will have to review and correct his C.V., where he is still described as former Chief Student Achievement Officer for the provincial education ministry.
Presumably, the board’s chief technology officer and chief information officer and chief social worker will all have to do the same. Etc., etc.
Toronto is home to many hard left politicians that push the agenda of political correctness to the extreme. Recently several spoke out in support of seeking a ruling from the Ontario Human Rights Commission to bar the Cleveland Indians from using their team name and logo when in Toronto to play against the Blue Jays.