By Gudrun Schultz
OTTAWA, Ontario, February 27, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Ontario private schools are coming increasingly under the lens of homosexual activist groups for “homophobic” teaching stemming from the schools’ primarily religious foundations, a report in Ottawa’s homosexual news media indicated earlier this week.
In an article warning about the increasing trend toward private and religious schools in the province, Ottawa’s Capital Xtra objected to religious schools that teach children “only their own values.”
The article quotes Tony Lovink, a homosexual Christian teacher in the Ottawa public school system, as saying, “All private schools tend to be at least implicitly homophobic. And I would say all religiously formed independent schools are definitely homophobic.”
The Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario said they were concerned the provincial ministry of education wasn’t “exerting more control” over the curriculum used by private religious schools. Unless a school wants to grant students government-recognized Secondary School Diplomas, Ontario private schools are free to use their preferred curriculum. Even schools that do grant the government diplomas may teach any additional material they choose, so long as the required curriculum is covered.
As well, the CLGRO objected to provincial standards that permit private schools to hire teachers based on the school administration’s own qualification requirements.
In October 2006 the Quebec government ordered private Christian schools in the province to begin teaching sex education and Darwinism in compliance with the provincial curriculum, threatening schools with closure if they failed to comply.
Dr. Janet Epp Buckingham, then-director of law and public policy with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, told LifeSiteNews at the time that parents’ right to educate their children in accordance with their religious beliefs is protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
In 1986 the Supreme Court ruled that although an Alberta pastor who was running a school out of the basement of his church did have to license the school, the provincial government had to provide reasonable accommodation for religious belief.
The court ruled that the province must “‘delicately and sensitively weigh the competing interests so as to respect as much as possible the religious convictions as guaranteed by the Charter,’” Dr. Epp Buckingham quoted.
In an ongoing battle over homosexual content in BC public school curriculums, parents are struggling to gain assurance from the school board that they may withdraw their children from pro-homosexual content in the classroom.
Homosexual activists Murray Corren and Peter Corren were granted an unprecedented say over the development of new pro-homosexual content in the provincial curriculum, as part of settlement in a human rights lawsuit against the province’s Liberal government in June 2006. The agreement also introduced a policy that would prevent parents from withdrawing their children from the classroom when the material was being taught.
The Catholic Civil Rights League is continuing efforts to ensure all 60 BC school boards acknowledge parents’ rights to oversee the education of their children.
See related LifeSiteNews coverage:
Quebec Government Forcing Evangelical Private Schools to Teach Sex Ed, Darwinism
Gov’t Agrees to Mandatory Homosexual Curriculum with No Opt-Out for Students or Parents
B.C. School Boards Refuse to Assure Parents of Right to Oversee Children’s Education