Friday August 6, 2010

Ontario Law Could See Gay Counselling for Youth Behind Parents’ Backs

By Patrick B. Craine

TORONTO, Ontario, August 6, 2010 ( – The Ontario Ministry of Education is implementing a new “safe schools” policy that some fear could see students offered “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” counselling behind their parents’ back.

Bill 157, the “Keeping Our Kids Safe at School” Act, which took effect February 1st, makes it mandatory for school staff to report incidents of inappropriate student behaviour, such as bullying, to principals.

However, while the law also requires principals to report incidents to a victim’s parents, it includes an important exception. A training video for schools on implementing the new legislation explains that principals must notify a victim’s parents, “unless it is decided that doing so would cause the victim further harm.”

One pro-family leader told that she was concerned about the interpretation of “harm” that might be employed as a justification to keep parents in the dark. “What happens if a principal decides the child will be ‘harmed’ by a parent’s belief that homosexuality is disordered?” asked Alissa Golob, head of the pro-life and pro-family group Campaign Life Coalition Youth.

The ministry training video, in fact, gives an example of an incident of “homophobic bullying” which it suggests the principal should not report to the parents. “A student discloses to the principal that he is gay and that he has not shared, and is not ready to share this information about his sexual orientation with his parents,” the video says. “He says that if his parents are told, they will force him to leave home. He says he would rather commit suicide than face his parents on this issue.”

In addition to empowering principals to not disclose to parents their child’s struggles with homosexuality or gender-confusion, the legislation requires board employees to provide the child with contact information to receive professional support.

In its documents, the ministry specifically mentions “the Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line” as one example of a number for teachers to provide students. This group, which serves Ontario youth under 26, describes itself as a “peer-support phone line for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, 2-spirited, queer and questioning young people.”

“Are pro-family parents going to be left in the dark while their insecure and developmentally-confused child is pushed by teachers and counsellors into identifying as homosexual?” asked Golob. “Let us pray that teachers and administrators will respect parents as the primary educators of their children and not obstruct parents’ efforts to instil their own faith and values.”

Contact Information:

Hon. Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Education

Mowat Block, 22nd Flr, 900 Bay St

Toronto, ON M7A 1L2

Tel: 1-800-387-5514 (TTY 1-800-263-2892)

Fax: 416-325-6348

Email: [email protected]

See related coverage:

Levant, Stefanowicz Trounce Imposition of Pro-Gay Policy on all Ontario Schools

Equity Training for Ontario Catholic Boards: Homosexuality ‘Normal’, ‘Natural’

‘Equity’: Ontario School Board Nixes Christian References in Policy

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