Markham principal apologizes for controversial Facebook posts

By Ginella Massa
CityNews Toronto | November 11, 2016

A Markham principal has apologized for a number of discriminatory posts she shared on Facebook in the past.

In a statement posted on the York Region District School Board website, Ghada Sadaka writes “I apologize for my actions and accept responsibility for ensuring that I learn from them … Upon reflection, I accept that sharing the posts was discriminatory, and should not have occurred.”

The online apology comes more than two months after parents flagged a number of posts shared by the principal of Sir Wilfred Laurier Public School.

Many of the posts seemed to promote anti-Muslim sentiments, including a video headlined “When someone said ‘not all Muslims are bad’, this woman delivers an amazing response.”

. . .

The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) has been working with York region parents and said there are still many unanswered questions about the board’s investigation.

“I think the best way to describe it is a lack of transparency on what exactly happened,” Abbas Kassam, a board member with NCCM, said.

Kassam said parents were never interviewed by the board, even though it’s part of their policy.

“We still need to know whether the principal in question will be receiving any form of [sensitivity] training,” he said.

In a request to the school board, CityNews posed many of those questions — including what consequences, if any, Sadaka faced.

In an email response, YRDSB spokesperson Christina Choo-Hum wrote, “While as an organization we cannot comment publicly, we appreciate that Principal Sadaka chose to make a statement and apologize.”

Last year, the same board fired Richmond Hill teacher Michael Marshall after a 10-week investigation over racist and Islamophopic posts he made on Twitter.

Kassam said he wonders why the same consequence wasn’t applied to Sadaka.

“We don’t know what the measuring stick is,” he said. “We don’t know what the board thought and why they kept the principal in place during their investigation, and after their investigation, where the other teacher last year was fired from his post.”

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