Parents in a Canadian school district are seeking answers as to why a principal issued an e-mail stamped with the well-known and widely recognizable ISIS flag.
Principal Darlene Jones allegedly copied and pasted an image of the terrorist group’s flag onto an e-mail meant to celebrate the commencement of Somali Heritage and Islamic Heritage month at Dr. Rita Cox – Kina Minogok Public School in downtown Toronto, CTV News reported. The announcement was sent out to approximately 700 families, according to the report.
“If within an inner-city school we can have something like the ISIS flag sent out for Islamic Heritage month, what else (inside the school) is happening?” parent May Woo reportedly asked.
Wow. In a message meant to celebrate the beginning of Islamic Heritage Month, a school principal copied and pasted an image of the ISIS flag in an email to families whose children attend her school in Toronto’s Parkdale community.
— Leena Latafat (@LeenaLatafat) January 11, 2023
In a follow-up e-mail Jones did apologize “to all who were harmed by the image” she sent out. “The image was offensive and harmful and does not represent Islam,” the email reportedly read. Jones declined to say, however, why she sent the image, according to the outlet.
Ryan Bird, Executive Director of Communications for the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), said he didn’t believe there was any “ill-intent” with Jones’ glaring faux pas. “But the fact is it should never have happened and gone out, and that’s why she has apologized,” Bird told the outlet. (RELATED: ‘I Will Be An Advocate Against This’: Former ISIS Bride Says She Wants To Come Back To America)
That explanation is not enough for parents who have claimed this is just one of many troubling instances from Jones that have left their children feeling uncomfortable at the school.
“My daughter … told me, ‘I dread going [to school] I don’t even want to see Mrs. Jones,’” Woo told CTV News.
Another parent, a Muslim, allegedly told Woo after the ISIS flag email that she didn’t feel safe with sending her children to the school. “Every time I drop them off [at school] I pray that they’re going to be okay,” CTV reported.
Woo also alleged that full-time teachers at the school have revealed that Jones has mistaken them for substitute teachers, even though they’d been working under Jones for more than a year. Woo also shared that her 13-year-old daughter was also mistaken for a teacher when she was reportedly tasked by Jones to look after the children at recess, allegations that Jones has denied, the outlet stated.
TDSB revealed to CTV News that they feel Jones’ apology for sending the ISIS flag is enough, something that did not sit well with parents. “Why are we even in a position where we have a principal who needs to apologize for something like this? What is the environment that our kids are supposed to be educated and nurtured in?” she asked per the outlet.