NewsThu Feb 21, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST
Catholic School Board Refuses to Conduct Survey Meant to Detect “Homophobia”
By Hilary White
TORONTO, February 21, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Toronto District Catholic School Board has declined to participate in a school survey to probe students’ opinions on homosexuality. Sponsored by Canada’s leading homosexual political lobby group, EGALE Canada, the online survey, titled the "First National Climate Survey on Homophobia in Canadian Schools", is intended to detect "homophobia" in schools.
After the passage of Canada’s same-sex "marriage" legislation, EGALE vowed to begin its campaign to bring homosexual information into Canada’s schools. The group says that "schools must not only have proactive and comprehensive discrimination and harassment policies, they must also ensure the presence of an inclusive curriculum."
In total, only three Catholic boards in Canada, Toronto and Guelph in Ontario, and one other in Alberta, have declined, although it is unclear if the others have agreed to participate. After a review of the survey, the Toronto board concluded that it "is not appropriate or helpful in nurturing our Catholic community."
But merely to decline to participate in such activities is taken by gay activists as de facto proof of "homophobia". EGALE executive director Helen Kennedy responded to the decision, describing homophobia as "prevalent in the Catholic system as it is in the public system."
She said, "The study is not about sexual behaviour, it is about social behaviour. It’s about bullying, harassment and taunting in our schools."
The survey asks students, "If you have one or more LGBTQ family members and you are NOT ‘out’ about your family status at school, please explain why." Students are asked to judge the friendliness of their school to homosexuality by outlining whether the school includes, "LGBTQ History (i.e. Stonewall Riots, Homosexuals during the Holocaust)", "LGBTQ Literature that had LGBTQ characters or themes" in the curriculum, or events such as "Pride Days" and the "National Day Against Homophobia".
Students are asked, "How many teachers or other staff members in your school are openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender?"
A Toronto Catholic School Board staff report said that Ontario Minister of Education Kathleen Wynne, herself a lesbian and gay activist, had requested that school boards permit students to participate.