Alberta’s new PC leader says parents ‘have a right to know’ if their kids join LGBT club
CALGARY, Alberta, March 29, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- Alberta’s new Progressive Conservative (PC) party leader defended parental rights in a meeting with reporters yesterday, saying that parents should be notified if their children join a pro-homosexual ’gay-straight alliance’ (GSA) club at school.
"I do however believe parents have a right to know what's going on with their kids in the schools unless the parents are abusive," said Jason Kenney in a meeting with Postmedia in Calgary on Tuesday.
"I don't think it's right to keep secrets from parents about challenges their kids are going through,” he added.
Kenny was attacked by the left for his comments, with his critics saying he wanted to “out” gay kids in school. He defended his comments on Facebook.
André Schutten, legal counsel and director of Law and Policy for the Association for Reformed Political Action, said he was happy that the new PC party leader defended parental rights.
“We are pleased that Mr. Kenney sees the importance of parental rights in education and that parents are the first and best educators of their children. The state, through the bureaucracy of the ministry of education, ought not to come between parents and their children,” he told LifeSiteNews.
Kenney, who won the PC leadership race two weeks ago in a landslide victory, also criticized the NDP government for its "adversarial or aggressive approach" in recently ordering two private Christian schools to allow GSAs.
Kenney said the NDP government should instead seek a "sensitive compromise that can ensure the safety of students and respect parental authority as well."
He said parents and teachers on the local level should come up with solutions to bullying, not politicians who are far away from the problems.
"I believe that principals, teachers, parents, can come up with sensible, practical, safe, compassionate solutions to these issues without them all being dictated by politicians in the legislature," he said.
Asked if he would repeal education Bill 10 if elected as premier in 2019, Kenney said he would not.
Bill 10, passed in 2015 under the former PC government with no public consultation and no debate, forced schools — including religious ones — to set up pro-homosexual “gay-straight alliance” clubs if requested by students.
The bill, subtitled “An Act to amend the Alberta Bill of Rights to protect our children,” specifically gave power to children to determine what clubs and activities are permitted at the school they attend while stripping from parents any right to have a say in the matter.
Controversial guidelines for implementing the bill released by the NDP in January state that school administration must have a student’s “explicit permission” before telling parents about the student’s decision to dress or identify as a member of the opposite sex.
Responding to Kenney’s comments that parents have a right to know what their kids are doing in school, NDP Education Minister David Eggen defended the “best practices” guidelines that leaves parents in the dark.
"In extraordinary circumstances, some students cannot talk to their parents about being in a GSA, so this would be putting students in an unsafe environment," he said.
“The law is the law,” he said, adding: “I will always stand up for students. Standing up for students is the responsible, fair and right thing to do.”
But Donna Trimble, executive director of Parents for Choice In Education, told LifeSiteNews that Eggen is “very well aware” that there is currently no law, but only guidelines, that state that parents should not know without the child’s permission that he or she has joined a GSA.
“The only place you find that ‘parents shouldn't know’ is in the Guidelines for Best Practices. And we have a letter written by Mr. Eggen on his letterhead stating that the guidelines are not legally binding. The law does not at any time state that parents should not know without the child's express permission,” she said.
Schutten called Bill 10 “bad law,” adding that if it “cannot be repealed, it should be amended to make room for the great diversity of families and schools in Alberta,” including homeschooling families and families with children attending religious-based schools.
Since coming into power in May 2015, the NDP government has assaulted parental rights and bullied Christian schools with its pro-LGBT agenda.
Not only has the NDP forced Christian schools to set up “gay-straight alliance” clubs, but it has also forced them to comply with its controversial transgender guidelines for forming school policy. It has also defunded the province’s largest Christian homeschooling association, effectively shutting it down for a time. It has also begun a massive overhaul of the province's K-12 curriculum with one of the goals being to normalize homosexuality, transgenderism, and gender fluidity.
Last September, Kenney blasted the NDP government’s education minister for suggesting that he would pull the funding from Christian schools if they refused to permit gay-straight alliances and provide all-gender washrooms.
When launching his bid for leadership in July, Kenney decried what he called the “ideological agenda” of the NDP, saying the Notley government is “planning ‘radical changes to the school curriculum.'”
“You know what that means for these ideologues,” he said at that time: “It doesn’t mean better measurable school outcomes. It means social engineering and pedagogical fads in our schools.”
Kenney called his win in the PC leadership race the “beginning of the end of this disastrous socialist government.”