NewsWed Jun 4, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST
Nova Scotia School Board disbanded by Education Minister Over Mandated Anti-Christian Program
By Jenna Murphy
ANTIGONISH, June 4, 2008, (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Strait Regional School Board (SRSB) of Antigonish, N.S., which is responsible for approximately 8,000 students, was disbanded last week by the Minister of Education, Karen Casey, due to irresolvable "personality conflicts" that stemmed from a heated debate on the integration of a new anti-Christian sex-ed program called "Healthy Relationships for Youth".
"This is a decision that I hoped I would not have to make, but this board continues to struggle to maintain decorum and a professional working relationship among its members," Casey said in a news release.
The "Healthy Relationships" program was developed and implemented by the Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre and has been approved by the Minister of Education.
"Addictions or sexual orientation or human sexuality are sensitive issues," ex-board member Frank Machnik told CBC News. "We’re not talking about algebra and chemistry here. We’re talking about things that have moral connotations."
The SRSB has been grinding the issue of the program for nearly a month; originally a decision had been expected several weeks ago. Last week, however, the entire board was fired before coming to a decision and without any further statements being made to the public on the issue of the "Healthy Relationships" program.
"Healthy Relationships for Youth" advocates for complete gender "equality" through suggesting gender analysis by way of ‘role-play’ exercises. The second section of the program is designated expressly to expose ‘gender stereotypes’, such as the need for women to be "lady-like" or for men to "act like men". The students are also subject to exercises to increase awareness and acceptance of homosexual tendencies in themselves and in their peers, and to keep in mind that failure to accept homosexual lifestyles is a type of "violence" against these individuals.
In implementing this new program, the school board will terminate the two existing programs which are decidedly ‘not run by the appropriate people’, said a SRSB board member.
The new program will be delivered in the classrooms by a "community person" and accompanied by a "Youth Team volunteer" (students selected from grades 10-12) to be trained in leadership and in facilitating by the Women’s Resource Centre.
The Women’s resource centre has developed two programs: one exclusively for girls and the other one for grade nine students. Both programs have already been approved by the Department of Education and are currently being used in several schools in Nova Scotia.
John Sears, former vice president and professor at St. Francis Xavier University, has been appointed in the place of the SRSB until the election of the new board this fall. Commenting that the disbanding of the board is simply a short-term solution, Education Minister Casey is adamant that the candidates of the new board be subject to much scrutiny in the election process as she is already working on legislation for this fall that will give the Minister of Education and respective school boards more power to discipline out-of-line board members.