The suicide of a former high school principal who claimed his reputation was “systematically demolished” by harassment he experienced during an anti-racism training session is a reminder to employers of their obligation to investigate allegations of wrongdoing thoroughly.
Richard Bilkszto, a contract principal with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), sued the TDSB in April 2023 claiming an anti-racism training session and its aftermath damaged his reputation. Specifically, when he disagreed with the trainer’s statement about racism in Canada compared to the U.S., he claimed he was harassed by the trainer in front of colleagues, implicitly referred to as a white supremacist by the trainer and berated by colleagues.
Bilkszto alleged that when he made an internal harassment complaint, TDSB failed to investigate as his employer, and in fact retaliated against him by disinviting him to a graduation for the program he helped create, and revoting a temporary employment contract offer.
You can read more about the lawsuit, which has not been tested in court, in the Star story.