Toronto school board: Parents can’t opt kids out of pro-homosexual curriculum
TORONTO, Ontario, June 8, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a major attack on parental rights, and a direct violation of the stated policy of the Ontario government, the Toronto District School Board is forbidding parents from opting their kids out of classes treating homosexuality.
Their policy suggests children are forced to join the board’s comprehensive “anti-homophobia” curriculum that promotes Toronto’s raunchy Pride parade to kindergarteners and aims to transform students into social activists by the end of high school.
The school board’s curriculum on “equity” for homosexuals, called ‘Challenging Homophobia and Heterosexism’, says parents cannot have their children removed from “human rights education” because of religious reasons.
“If a parent asks for his or her child to be exempted for any discussions of LGBTQ family issues as a religious accommodation, this request cannot be made because it violates the Human Rights Policy,” the document reads.
Religious freedom, they write further, “is not absolute” and religious accommodation in the school board “is carried out in the larger context of the secular education system.”
Similarly, the document says teachers are not allowed to opt out of treating controversial issues in the classroom that would violate their religious beliefs. “The TDSB is part of the secular public education system. …Teachers refusing to create an inclusive classroom that is safe and supportive for all students would create a poisoned learning environment.”
Furthermore, it says schools ought not to send home notes or permission slips to parents before dealing with “LGBTQ issues” because treating sexual orientation differently in this way could be deemed “discriminatory.”
Phil Lees, the leader of Ontario’s Family Coalition Party, which is the province’s only pro-life and pro-family party, said the Toronto board is acting as though their “authority supersedes the Ministry of Education.”
While Ontario’s Ministry of Education has vigorously promoted “anti-homophobia” education, particularly through their controversial equity and inclusive education strategy, they have also guaranteed parents the right to opt out of controversial classes.
In a 2008 letter, former Education Minister Kathleen Wynne told pro-family activist Ken O’Day, “Should a component of any course conflict with a religious belief held by a parent or a student aged eighteen or older, the right to withdraw from that component of the course shall be granted on the written request of the parent or student.”
“As usual, Toronto is being influenced by only one side of this issue,” said Lees, noting that the board is promoting the government’s “equity” agenda for homosexuals while flouting the government’s call for religious accommodation.
Though the Ministry affords them the right to opt their kids of controversial classes, parents would likely find this difficult to carry out in practice without completely leaving the system. The Toronto board points out that their “anti-homophobia” plan is a long-term “process” that “permeates the curriculum in all subject areas” and so is not restricted to individual classes.
Their anti-homophobia curriculum employs a pedagogical model called the “James Banks Continuum”, which aims to move the children from merely recognizing the contributions of homosexual “heroes” to a point where they are themselves prepared to engage in “social action” on the issue.
The document profiles major homosexual activists like Brent Hawkes, the Toronto pastor who pushed homosexual “marriage” on Canada through the back-door of the judicial system, and it recommends such controversial organizations as Planned Parenthood, Pride Toronto, PFLAG, and Egale.
Beginning with kindergarten, children are expected to have an initial grasp of homosexual family structures, and are familiarized with terms such as “gay” and “lesbian”.
Activities for junior kindergarten to Grade 3 include a discussion aimed at convincing students of the importance of participating in Toronto’s annual Pride Parade. Though billed as “family-friendly,” the event has often been labeled a “sex parade,” as it regularly features people walking down the streets semi-nude or completely naked, and homosexuals engaging in public sex acts.
The young students read “Gloria Goes to Gay Pride”, teachers are asked to bring in photos from the parade, and the students are encouraged to make posters for the school board’s parade float.
Other books recommended for JK-3 include “Heather Has Two Mommies” and “King & King & Family”.
In grades 4-6, teachers are encouraged to bring in the raunchy homosexual newspaper Xtra!, which is known for featuring prominent ads with naked men, as part of an activity on stereotyping in the media. Another activity has students develop an “action plan” to challenge “homophobic attitudes” in their school.
By grade 7, students are engaging in an activity designed to question the notion that homosexuality is a “choice”, and another has students running surveys to assess the “heterosexist/homophobia temperature” of their school and then formulating an action plan to challenge identified “inequities”. In the end, students are encouraged to organize school-wide activities to raise awareness of “homophobia”.
Lees said that while the school board is treating the Ontario Human Rights Code as absolute, “there are many attending the secular public school system who believe that absolutes are God’s prerogative, not government’s.”
“It would seem that the Toronto District School Board has neither the will, intention, nor the ability to deal with religious accommodations in schools,” he continued.
“This entire problem is the result of a ‘monopoly on education’. It can only be solved by funding of separate religious school boards,” he added, calling on voters to question candidates on this issue leading into October’s provincial election.
A spokesman for the Toronto District School Board was unavailable for comment. LifeSiteNews.com did not hear back from the Ministry of Education by press time.
See the Toronto District School Board’s “anti-homophobia” curriculum here.
Hon. Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Education
Mowat Block, 22nd Flr, 900 Bay St
Toronto, ON M7A 1L2
Tel: 1-800-387-5514 (TTY 1-800-263-2892)
Elizabeth Witmer, Education Critic
Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario
Rm 422, Main Legislative Building
Toronto ON M7A 1A8
E-mail: Use this form.
Chris Spence, Director of Education
Toronto District School Board
5050 Yonge Street - 5th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M2N5N8
Find contact information for all Toronto District School Board trustees here.