It seems that Bill 24 is not about creating ‘safe and caring’ schools after all.
Independent schools, including the one I attended and the one my children attend, have by Alberta Education’s standards achieved excellence in being safe and caring, as far as I understand.
Based on this information, removing parental consent and forcing schools to go against their faith and beliefs is not about safe and caring schools. It’s about ‘outing’ and bullying Christians, labeling them as haters because they have beliefs contrary to the minister’s.
Bill 24 is not only about allowing students to create Gay-Straight Alliances (GSA); it’s about taking away a school’s right to teach in accordance with Christian beliefs.
The schools who refuse to comply with the Minister’s wishes are being told to remove faith-based language from their school policies. We may no longer state, for example, that “men and women were created in the image of God, after his likeness, and therefore have transcendent, intrinsic worth”. We may no longer affirm that men and women are “equal in dignity and worth” but have “distinct and complementary roles”. These are actual terms that have been highlighted in school policies as being offensive and non-compliant.
Why are Christian schools being told to remove these faith-based statements? These schools are safe and caring and are achieving excellence in academics.
What Minister Eggen is doing then with this bill is bullying schools, parents and people of faith into abandoning their beliefs because their beliefs are seen as homophobic.
This fight is not about GSA’s or safe and caring policies; that’s not what’s at the core of this issue. It’s about controlling what the youth of the province are being taught and keeping it in line with whatever Minister Eggen believes is good.
Pull the funding on private/independent schools; pull accreditation so our kids won’t graduate with provincial diplomas.
These things are not the issue. These kinds of policies won’t stop until government has banned the use of God’s name other than as a curse. What are we coming to, bullying one group to ‘protect’ the other?
Under the banner of rights for LGBQT people, others are being silenced and bullied into compliance.