Richard Bilkszto Death – Richard Bilkszto, the former principal of the Toronto District School Board has tragically passed away. Richard Bilkszto was announced dead suddenly this past Thursday, the 13th of July 2023, at his home in Toronto. He died by suicide at the age of 60. He leaves his distraught mother, brother, nephews, niece and many dear family and friends whose lives he touched over the years. Thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.
On his retirement from full-time work in 2019, a superintendent at the TDSB wrote to Richard:
[Y]ou have proven your excellence in equity, instruction, entrepreneurship, student engagement and breaking new ground for communities where chronic struggles, mental health and newcomer status often brought more frustration than success. You have been a leader amongst leaders in changing their lives…I am proud to have worked with you. I feel we will work together again somehow but until then I needed to signal we are losing one of the great ones.
How did Richard Bilkszto die?
In the spring of 2021, Richard’s impeccable reputation suffered a blow when he faced a distressing situation, causing severe mental anguish. Subsequently, a ruling by the WSIB confirmed that he had been a victim of workplace bullying during a series of “Equity Sessions” organized by the TDSB and facilitated by the KOJO Institute.
In response to this ordeal, Richard initiated a civil lawsuit against the TDSB this year, as covered in a recent National Post article: https://nationalpost.com/opinion/principal-berated-for-white- supremacy-sues-tdsb-over-equity-training.
Sadly, the stress and aftermath of these events continued to haunt Richard. Tragically, last week he passed away due to the distress he experienced. His untimely demise left his family and friends devastated, wishing they had the opportunity to show him how much he was loved, respected, and valued.
Following his troubling encounter with the board’s equity agenda, Richard began advocating for bringing people together through a more equality-focused, human-centric approach. Recently, he also voiced opposition to the TDSB’s introduction of a lottery system for specialized programs, which eliminated any consideration of merit. His primary concern was promoting fairness and respect for all learners – a mission he believed was deviating from the essence of public education.
Who was Richard Bilkszto?
Richard, a former principal of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), had recently retired from his long and illustrious 24-year career with the board. Even in retirement, his dedication to helping learners succeed remained unwavering, leading him to continue doing contract work for the TDSB. Throughout his tenure with the board, Richard had become a highly accomplished leader in the field of Adult Education, driven by his passion for empowering and supporting learners in their educational journeys.
Richard Bilkszto obituary and funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date by the family.
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