TORONTO, Sept. 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – One of the Ontario government’s lead trainers and advisors on its controversial equity and inclusive education strategy says attempts by parents to withdraw their children from objectionable classes on sexuality is an “attack” on inclusivity in the schools.
The comment was made to the Toronto Star Monday by Chris D’Souza, the chair of the Equity Summit Group, a former teacher in the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, and an equity trainer who has led sessions in over a dozen Catholic school boards across Ontario.
This LifeSiteNews reporter questioned D’Souza about the comment Tuesday, asking also his view on policies adopted by the Toronto District School Board and the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board that forbid parents from withdrawing children from classes dealing with homosexuality.
In reply, he said simply: “Here is your quote Patrick: You are all clutching at straws and have lost the battle.”
D’Souza was presumably referring to the battle waged since 2010 over the government’s equity strategy, which mandated openness to homosexuality in all publicly-funded schools across the province. The battle culminated with the passage in June of Bill 13, which forced all schools, including Catholic schools, to allow gay-straight alliance clubs.
The “equity” controversy made national news again this week with the announcement that a Greek Orthodox father of two, Dr. Steve Tourloukis, has sued the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board after officials refused to allow him to withdraw his children from classes dealing with controversial sexual issues, or even to notify him in advance.
Amidst the coverage, the Toronto Star published a piece Monday on a form letter created by the pro-family group PEACE Hamilton that helps parents request to be notified before controversial issues are discussed in the classroom. Tourloukis himself had sent a copy of the letter into the school board, but was rebuffed.
Speaking about these letters, D’Souza told the Toronto Star that “any attack on Ontario’s move forward to an inclusive school system is a concern.”
D’Souza has continued to receive invitations to speak on “equity” at Catholic schools even after he told a meeting of parents at the Toronto Catholic District School Board in April 2011 that he supports same-sex “marriage.”
He also told the parents at the meeting that if they disagree with special rights for homosexuals in the Ontario Human Rights Code, they should take it up with politicians or “move to another country where they don’t have the laws that protect us.”
In September 2011, he sent a letter to all of Ontario’s Catholic school trustees encouraging them to sign their boards up for a program that aims to equip teachers and students to “abolish … heterosexism.”
In his presentations to Catholic school boards, D’Souza has defined “heterosexism” as “the assumption that everyone is or should be heterosexual and that heterosexuality is the only normal, natural sexual orientation.”