Toronto equity policy a ‘direct attack’ on ‘an entire religion’: Recent Catholic school grad
TORONTO, Ontario, September 2, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Embracing the Ontario government’s “equity” (EIE) agenda is a step down a dangerous slippery slope that will lead to the normalization of homosexuality in Catholic schools, warned Kayla Martin, a recent Catholic school graduate, at a Toronto Catholic District School Board meeting Wednesday.
“To include the EIE policy in our schools will not be a direct attack on a teacher, or a student or a school. This would be a direct attack on an entire religion,” said Martin, one of seven speakers at the meeting to debate key amendments to its controversial equity policy. The policy was passed as part of the province’s equity and inclusive education strategy.
“Will we fight like [the saints] or will we play a hand in the destruction of our Church because society would like us to change our beliefs to fit their needs?” she asked.
Martin, who graduated this year from Toronto’s St. Joseph Morrow Park Catholic Secondary School, spoke before trustees and a crowd of about 250 parents and ratepayers, who packed Wednesday’s board meeting. Despite petitions signed by thousands of parents calling for amendments to the equity policy, trustees rejected all but one, including one that would have ensured student clubs remain consistent with Catholic moral teachings.
While “on the surface” the equity strategy seems aimed at uniting everyone, said Martin, it would actually be a “slow, beginning process” of integrating acceptance of homosexuality into Catholic schools’ curriculum. “Little by little we will give up our values and morals as Catholics and mesh and mold into what society wants,” she said.
“The goal as we know is to have students feel they are being reflected in the curriculum. But if you were to look deeper down into the policy’s intentions, you will find something else,” said Morrow. “The act of homosexuality will become normalized. That is, students will now be taught they don’t have to be heterosexual, and it will be inferred that they can be a Catholic and also practice homosexuality as well. The policy doesn’t seem as harmless anymore.”
All of Ontario’s Catholic school boards have passed an equity policy, and Premier Dalton McGuinty already ordered them in July to allow “LGBT support groups” in the high schools.
The Ministry of Education had already mandated the groups, and stated in April that schools are not permitted to use them to help students “reform their sexuality.”
That Ministry statement led critics to slam the clubs as a clear affront to Catholic teaching. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops insisted in June that in ministering to youth experiencing same-sex attractions, “Avoidance of difficult questions or watering down the Church’s teaching is always a disservice. … Such attitudes could lead young people into grave moral danger.”
At Wednesday’s meeting Toronto’s trustees were asked to pass an amendment stipulating that clubs will only be approved if they “have goals that are not inconsistent with … the Catholic Church’s moral and doctrinal teachings.” However, they rejected it in favor of a watered down version merely requiring that student groups “adhere to the Ontario Catholic Graduate Expectations.”
Ontario’s Catholic education system is in the process of developing guidelines for homosexual “anti-bullying” clubs, which are expected to be implemented sometime this fall.
For trustees of the Toronto Catholic District School board click here.
Director of Education, Ann Perron: 416.222.8282 ext. 2296, [email protected]
Catholic Bishops of Toronto Archdiocese:
Most Rev. Thomas Collins, (416) 934-0606, [email protected]
Most Rev. Vincent Nguyen, 416 724-0900, [email protected]
Most Rev. William T. McGrattan, (416) 769-6001, [email protected]
Most Rev. John Boissonneau, (416) 207-4983, [email protected]