doug ford ontario teachers

People are suggesting that Doug Ford just encouraged parents to beat their kids

It's been a while since Ontario has gotten a gem of a one-liner from a Doug Ford press conference, which are fewer and further between now that his daily pandemic media briefings — and all of the ridiculous quotes that came of them — are no more.

Though there was sadly no awkward dancing at the premier's press appearance on Monday, there was one thing he said that seems to be irking residents.

Ford was announcing a new investment in firefighter training programs in Mississauga this morning when he was asked by a CBC reporter about the results of a new survey revealing the vast majority of elementary school teachers in the province have experienced violence from students, whether personally or as a witness to an incident against a coworker.

"What is your government doing to tackle violence in elementary schools," the reporter asked.

Ford started with a "back in my day" comment, saying that when he grew up, hitting a teacher would have been inconceivable.

"I think honestly, it starts at home. I will speak for my parents: god forbid I ever went up and hit a teacher, I'd get twice the hit when I got home," the premier said. "And I think everyone out there would say the same thing."

He then implored students to "get your act together" and respect their teachers, who are there to serve as not only a basis for knowledge and guidance, but to make them better people.

But despite his message of encouragment to those leading classes in the province, listeners are having an issue with the premier's delivery and what he seems to be suggesting.

Responses on Twitter range from "omg, he went there" to calling the leader a "trailer park Camelot," along with, of course, the requisite jabs at Ford, his upbringing and his job performance, especially because he made sure to state that teacher's have a tough job that he himself could never do.

And while some are somewhat shocked by Ford's comments and are eager to have yet another reason to complain about him, others feel that... well... he's kind of right — not about physical violence in the home, but about teaching children to behave properly.

"Problem is a lack of accountability and responsibility for your action," one person wrote on Twitter.

"That starts in the home, by teaching children to have respect & proper values. It also has to happen in the schools as well. Unfortunately there is a general lack of meaningful consequences for actions."

And yet another: "Far be it from me to ever agree with anything Ford says, but he does have a point about respect for your elders and those in authority needs to be taught at home. It's not necessary to use violence to show and gain respect. Children will follow good examples set in the home."

In the end, Ford somewhat skirted the question, and was called out for doing so by the reporter. To a follow-up, he responded that he aims to "always make sure we advocate for the teachers and protect the teachers," noting his recent push to allow uniformed officers at school events.

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