B.C. School Boards Refuse to Assure Parents of Right to Oversee Children’s Education
By John Jalsevac
VANCOUVER, B.C., January 8, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Despite the ongoing efforts by the Catholic Civil Rights League to obtain assurances from all 60 British Columbia school boards that parents will retain their right to remove their children from the classroom when material being taught conflicts with religious or family values, as of yet only 3 out of 60 school boards have provided such an assurance.
The Catholic Civil Rights League has been engaged in this particular fight to protect parents’ rights ever since the province’s Liberal government settled a human rights case with gay activists Murray and Peter Corren in June 2006.
That contentious settlement not only gave Murray and Peter Corren an unprecedented say over the development of a new pro-homosexual provincial curriculum, but also led to the approval of a policy that would disallow parents from removing their children from the classroom if material being taught contravened their personal values.
In September of 2006 Vancouver’s Archbishop Roussin protested the B.C. policy in an editorial in the local Catholic paper, in which he reminded B.C. parents that their rights to educate their children are “non-negotiable”, and that they must take action during the government’s consultation about the program engineered by the Correns.
Since the passing of the policy depriving parents of their right to guide their children’s education, the Catholic Civil Rights League has carried out an extensive letter writing campaign, which has sought to obtain assurances from B.C.‘s school boards that parent’s will in fact retain the right to oversee their children’s education.
“The focus of these letters,” said the League’s regional director, Sean Murphy, according to the Vancouver Sun, “has been specifically on that. The focus has not been on the subject of homosexuality as such.
“I think most people would be very uncomfortable with the idea that parents are going to surrender their children to the state and their experts to basically deal with as they see fit—even when that is contrary to the wishes of the parents.”
As of yet, however, says Murphy, only 3 school boards have responded to the League’s letter writing campaign in an acceptable fashion. In all only 20 of the 60 school boards have responded at all, even though the League has written some of the boards up to three times.
“I’m hoping if I can get them to seriously look at the matter that some of them may revisit their positions, but we’ll see,” said Murphy.
According to the Sun, Vancouver board chairman Ken Denike said that issues such as these must be approached with common sense. “We’re quite sensitive to these matters,” he said. “We won’t bolt them to their desks.” Several other school boards have responded to the letter-writing campaign in a fashion that Murphy says is in need of clarification. The Catholic Civil Rights League is following up with those school boards.
In the meantime, the process of overhauling B.C.‘s curriculum to include positive references to “alternative” lifestyles is continuing. A new course called Social Justice 12, which will focus in part on issues pertaining to “LGBT” issues, is being prepared for pilot testing beginning next fall.
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Gov’t Agrees to Mandatory Homosexual Curriculum with No Opt-Out for Students or Parents
B.C. Gay Couple Seeks Mandatory Homosexual School Curriculum Without Parental Opt-Out
Canadian Bishop Calls Parents to Action against Homosexual Indoctrination in Schools