NewsThu Aug 9, 2007 - 12:15 pm EST
Ontario Catholic School Board Approves Referrals to Gay-Activist Therapist, Censors Right to Life Material
By Elizabeth O’Brien and John-Henry Westen
WATERLOO, August 9, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Minutes of meetings of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) Family Life Advisory Committee (FLAC) reveal that the Catholic board has undertaken activities that seriously contradict Catholic teaching. Despite Catholic teaching opposing homosexual acts, the board has approved referral of Catholic students to homosexuality-promoting therapists and organizations.
In the January 25, 2006 meeting minutes, published on the WCDSB website, the FLAC approved the referral of children to an active homosexual therapist for "LGBTTTSIQ sensitivity training/counselling".
The gay therapist, David Vervoot, is an active homosexual who has raised a son with his male partner. According to his website "Rainbow Therapist", Vervoot has offered anti-homophobia workshops in high schools and presented on topics such as "Building LGBT Community Supports in Rural Cities" and "Creating Accessible Health Care Services For Queer Communities". He has been on the committees of Guelph Pride, Guelph’s LGBT Lending Library, and co-founded the Waterloo Wellington Gay & Bi fathers peer support group. (See Vervoot’s website here: http://www.rainbowtherapist.com/bio.html )
During the same meeting, the committee decided that certain Right to Life materials might not be appropriate for students. According to the minutes, the committee "advised that some material seems more appropriate for teachers/adults as opposed to students. Some material may not be appropriate for students."
The minutes of that January 25, 2006 FLAC meeting are available online on the Board website here: http://www.wcdsb.ca/ps/family-life/pdf/Minutes/06-07/Min-Jan-25-06.pdf
On March 29, 2006 the same school board committee’s minutes document the approval of "OK 2B Me," a three-year project with Family and Children Services to support Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transsexual and Queer children aged 5 to 18. The initiative offers "workshops, peer support/connection, mentoring project, group support and a website." The program will offer "free" and "individual" services as well as provide educational groups and crisis counseling. (See the minutes here: http://www.wcdsb.edu.on.ca/ps/family-life/pdf/Minutes/06-07/Min-Mar-29-06.pdf )
On April 26, the FLAC committee put forward another brochure entitled, "Hiding Its Face: Homophobia". The pamphlet supported a "National Day Against Homophobia" that would be celebrated on May 17. The pamphlet was approved for staff use each year.
During the same meeting, the committee approved PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), an organization that advocates the full recognition of the homosexual agenda within schools and other areas of society. The committee authorized the use of a PFLAG brochure as a resource for teachers, social workers, YCW’s Chaplains and "as a support for parents with GLBTQ students." (See the April 26 meeting minutes here: http://www.wcdsb.ca/ps/family-life/pdf/Minutes/06-07/Min-Apr-26-06.pdf )
Defend Traditional Marriage and Family (DTMF), a local organization, challenged the Catholic school board on the presence of pro-homosexual material in the school system earlier this year.
The group secured a meeting with the FLAC committee to discuss a problematic book, but were refused the opportunity to discuss the book in question in the wider context of the other homosexuality-promoting materials and programs. Instead FLAC said that their discussions must be narrowly limited to the particular book.
DTMF asked the Catholic board to explain pro-homosexual programs such as a workshop program for teachers and staff that was entitled, "Understanding and Supporting Transgender Children and Youth". The Catholic school board complained in a June 25 letter to DTMF, however, that the other materials were a "separate and distinct" matter from DTMF’s original complaint against the gay-propaganda book found in the system entitled "Open Minds to Equality".
Responding in an August 3 letter, DTMF communications director Jack Fonseca insisted that the book is in fact only part of a larger issue that has "infiltrated" the Waterloo school system and created an air of tolerance towards active homosexuality. Denying the grounds of the WCDSB’s complaint, he emphasized the fact that over thirty gay-propaganda books and videos have been discovered within Waterloo schools, teachers have attended transgender workshops and the school board has partnered with homosexual-promoting groups.
Fonseca insisted that WCDSB’s Family Life Committee (FLAC) must discuss all these crucial issues at its next meeting on September 26.
Fonseca argued, "Offering this secular, homosexual group (PFLAG) as a resource is tantamount to telling confused kids, ‘You can’t resist same-sex attractions, so don’t even try, just embrace the lifestyle, and here’s how to get started.’"
The DTMF letter also brings to the WCDSB’s attention a Grade 9 Religious Education lesson that uses ambiguous language that DTMF fears may mislead "students into thinking that the Church has no serious moral objection to homosexual acts." (See the DTMF letter online here: http://www.defendmarriagekw.org/WCDSB_PFLAG_Aug3-07.pdf )
LifeSiteNews.com contacted Bryan Mahn, Superintendent of Human Resources & Facility Services for the WCDSB, and asked why a Catholic school committee would approve a homosexual activist as a reference for teachers and students. Mahn told LifeSiteNews.com that he would look into the matter and provide answers by the end of the week.
Local Bishop Anthony Tonnos was unavailable for comment on this story since he and auxiliary Bishop Gerard Bergie are out of town this week.
Read Previous LifeSiteNews coverage:
Waterloo Catholic School Board Found Supporting Pro-homosexual Groups and Literature
Catholic School Libraries Stock Gay Promoting Books and Videos Warns Pro-Marriage Group
To respectfully voice concerns:
His Excellence Bishop Anthony Tonnos
700 King St. W.
Hamilton, ON L8P 1C7
Phone: (905) 528-7988
Fax: (905) 528-1088
Auxiliary Bishop Gerard Bergie
Phone: (905) 528-7988
Fax: (905) 528-1088