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Anti-racism trainer accused of bullying principal who later died says she welcomes review

An anti-racism trainer accused of denigrating a Toronto principal who later died by suicide says she welcomes the Ontario education minister’s review.

Earlier this week Minister Stephen Lecce called the allegations raised by Richard Bilkszto “serious and disturbing” and said he’s asked his staff to review what happened and bring him “options to reform professional training and strengthen accountability on school boards so this never happens again.”

KOJO Institute CEO Kike Ojo-Thompson said the accusations are false and mischaracterize what happened at two training sessions in 2021 attended by Richard Bilkszto.

Bilkszto filed a lawsuit against the Toronto District School Board earlier this year, claiming supervisors failed to intervene and then retaliated against him when Ojo-Thompson allegedly implied he was racist when he disagreed Canada was more racist than the United States, later using the exchange as an example of how white supremacy is upheld through resistance.

Bilkszto’s lawyer publicly linked the incident to his death earlier this month.

In a statement posted Thursday night, Ojo-Thompson calls Bilkszto’s death a tragedy and offers her condolences to his family.

She says the incident has been weaponized to discredit and suppress the work of people committed diversity, equity and inclusion, noting her and the team have been subjected to threats and online vitriol.

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