How an after-school fist fight became a $1.6M lawsuit — 6 years later

Flung about in a suit against the Toronto French School are allegations of Islamophobia, drug-dealing, sex as payment and more.


Omar Elgammal (left) and Danial Velshi, seen outside court, are suing the Toronto French School and its headmaster, former MP John Godfrey. The two were expelled following an altercation with a non-student



You’ve heard of helicopter parents, always hovering over their children. I’d like to add a subcategory: The Apache Attack Helicopter parent.
They strafe.
Such would describe the incendiary allegations made in statements of claim by the mother of one student and the father of another who, with their spawn, are seeking $1.6 million in damages over the then-teenagers’ 20-day suspension from the private Toronto French School six years ago.
The boys were disciplined over an incident where they got into a fist fight with another teen who did not attend their school but had been on the property earlier. Omar Elgammal snatched a backpack in the commons room belonging to a “visitor student” and met up with Danial Velshi outside. This occurred after the visitor, who hadn’t signed in, allegedly made racial slurs, calling Velshi’s mother a “maid,” in apparent reference to her Filipino heritage, then taunting Elgammal by miming pulling a pin from a grenade and sneering: “What are you guys going to do, call out Allah, Allah, Allah, Allah, Allah …”
The backpack was returned but the boys continued exchanging barbs as they walked away. Punches were swung when they reached Cheltenham Park. There were no weapons and no serious injuries.
It was a female student witness who reported the altercation to school authorities the next day.
In the statement of claim — none of the allegations proven in court — the plaintiffs assert that the visitor student was there that day “supposedly to supply illicit drugs’’ to the aforementioned female (because of the drug-dealing reference, the Star is not naming that individual) and, further, the female student had arranged to meet with the boy in the park to provide payment by “apparently… performing oral sex on him.”
So how’s that for a blast of rumour and accusation?
The parents and their sons are furious over the racial slings that reportedly provoked this whole mess and the student assembly that followed, wherein the offenders — their identities never revealed by the school principal or the headmaster, who are named in the civil suit — were described as bullies and thugs and the Holocaust invoked against student bystanders who did nothing to stop the fight. But it’s okay, evidently, to slag the female student as slutty and characterize the visitor student as a drug-dealer, with no supporting evidence.
Sex and drugs and Islamophobia and Nazis, oh my. To say nothing of profound over-dramatization of a skirmish among private school students — as all involved were — that got two 14-year-old Grade 9 students, Elgammal and Velshi, tossed for 20 days.
Never too early, it would seem, to school your kids about entitlement and nurturing a grievance, or that maybe fisticuffs aren’t the answer to racist trash talking. Or maybe that they should man up — boy up? — over an incident long in the past, with both young men now in university. And that perhaps teenagers are wildly immature, frequently saying stupid stuff a lot worse than this, and that a wise parent might use the opportunity as a teaching moment rather than seize on it for a lawsuit.
But the families have taken the view that the boys wouldn’t have been so heavily punished had they not been Muslim, with school authorities not fully comprehending the hurt caused that sparked the mini melee. As Danial Velshi testified earlier this week, the takeaway he absorbed from this unfortunate experience is that “the world is unfair and life is unfair.” Well duh. Further: “If you’re a minority, it’s more likely that it will be unfair.”
Ditto if you’re a female, I guess. Or fat. Or a Goth. Or otherwise unconventional. Or not so well off that Mummy and Daddy send you to a private school, paying annual fees of around $20,000 in the belief that relationships forged there could further career advancement later in life.
On Friday, however, their lawyer’s bid to bring in a witness — a sociology professor from Montreal — to testify about racial profiling and Islamophobia was rejected by Ontario Superior Court Justice Elizabeth Stewart. She ruled that expert opinion was not necessary to “understand and appreciate the matters at issue” in the judge-alone trial.
It should be noted that, when the principal interviewed four students who had witnessed the fight, not one of them mentioned the racial slurs as motivation for the little rumble in the park. That only arose in a second round of inquiries. Nor did Elgammal when first questioned. Indeed, Elgammal — suspended on three previous occasions for disciplinary problems — denied there had been any altercation at all, only changing his story when informed that his parents were being summoned. Velshi conceded the boys had struck the visitor student.
As the statement of defence says: “School authorities had good reason to seriously doubt the truth of the allegations of racist comments given … the change of stories by witnesses, the falsehoods told by Omar Elgammal, the failure of Danial Velshi to mention any such racial comments when first interviewed as to the circumstances of the case and the discipline history of Omar Elgammal. The TFS authorities further considered that even if such remarks had been made, it did not justify an assault that occurred at least several minutes later and then only after (the visitor student) was pursued to Cheltenham Park.”
There is one other factor that likely contributed to the launch of the civil suit, but a publication ban covers that evidence.
Both Elgammal and Velshi subsequently withdrew from the school as authorities were weighing whether they should be expelled.
On Friday, court heard from Elgammal’s sister, Yasmine, a Toronto French School graduate (as is another brother), who now works as a commodities trainer for her family’s company.
Despite living in the same house as her brother, Yasmine testified that she couldn’t remember how many times Omar had been suspended and knew nothing about the “behavioural contract” he was under with the Toronto French School because of previous issues. She did recall how upset her brother had been about the incident. “He couldn’t understand why he was being punished so severely.” She also said her brother’s stutter had become “much more pronounced” afterwards.
Following the school assembly to which the parents have so heatedly objected, students were divided into groups to further discuss the affair and ask questions. One of the groups included Velshi’s older brother, and the transcript of that conversation is included in court documents. It is evident several of the students thought the punishment too severe.
Female voice: “I’m going to be, like my (inaudible) is so embarrassed to send me to this establishment, the way you have been treated the students … jump to conclusions and did not present the committee of all the racism — innocent until proven guilty.”
Male voice: “One kid. I hate this school.”
Male voice: “The other kid threw the first punch anyways.”
Female voice: “Propaganda.”
Female voice: “They randomly jump as soon as one person comes and says, this happened, they’re like, oh my God, all these people are wrong doers because they didn’t bring it up.”
Female voice: “I really have to go to the ladies room. Can we be excused?”
Male voice: “I want to f----g leave. I have a spare.”
Rosie DiManno usually appears Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.





Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre

False allegations are rampant in Society. The Ontario Government spends billions of State Employees who Fabricate evidence to keep their jobs and to further Fasscist ideas of Gender Superiority.

The Children's Aid Societies are the worst offenders. Take Marguerite Isobel Lewis of the Ottawa Children's Aid Society, who fabricates evidence personally, acts in contempt of court, and all the Judges she appears in front of Ignore her long list of Criminal Offences that would have her in jail for a long time in other countries.

Marguerite Lewis does not deny the above allegations and like most CAS lawyers, their crimes against children and Justice are blessed by the Judges who are more often than not, in serious conflicts due their being former lawyers for the same corrupt criminal cartel of Childrens Aid Societies of Ontario.

Watch the video "Powerful as God" at

Ottawa Mens Centre