Officials from the Greater Essex County District School Board are responding to an opinion column in Monday’s Toronto Sun that says the board told teachers to be prepared to exempt Muslim students from Remembrance Day.

The school board says that was not the case at all.

“When I first saw the report, I was actually shocked,” says Sharon Pyke, superintendent of education. “There's misinterpretation.”

The board recently sent out a memo to schools across the region.

“Some families may be reluctant to have their children attend your location municipality’s ceremonies,” stated the memo. “Please note that meaningful alternate activities should be provided at the schools for those families who do not wish their children to participate in any Remembrance Day ceremonies.”

Included at the bottom of the page, were links to multiple websites the board says showing the diversity of our forces.

Pyke says in light of recent events, including the violence directed at servicemen in Ottawa and Quebec some parents expressed concerns about safety, of having their children participate in an outdoor or more open forum.

School board officials say they were contacted for comment by Sun News, but their statements were not used in the commentary.

The Toronto Sun piece, written by Ezra Levant, says “it’s insulting that either parents or the school board thinks Remembrance Day is in any way anti-Muslim.”

Levant has started a petition to the school board at