Parents urged to protest new curriculum
From Today’s Family News [www.todaysfamilynews.ca]
April 2, 2008
British Columbia parents who do not want their children taught about aspects of human sexuality that they cannot morally condone are being urged to express their opposition before it’s too late, theVancouver Sun reported.
At issue is a proposed teachers’ guide called Making Space, Giving Voice. If the Ministry of Education decides to adopt the guide as written, it would revise every subject from Kindergarten to Grade 12 by inserting lessons and discussions on “diversity,” including sexual orientation. Class attendance would be compulsory.
The ministry drafted the guide as part of its 2006 settlement with Murray and Peter Corren. The pair, a “married” same-sex couple, had filed a human rights complaint alleging – as Murray Corren told the Sun in 2004 – there was “systemic discrimination through omission and suppression of queer issues in the whole of the curriculum.”
In return for the province’s promise to review the entire public school curriculum, the Correns dropped their complaint.
Sean Murphy, western regional director of the Catholic Civil Rights League, told Today’s Family News the guide basically gives the Correns all that they wanted to accomplish – and does it in a way that “provides the framework for the suppression of contrary views.”
“There is now through the state school system,” he said, “an opportunity for the state to exert control over the citizenry and to have a significant impact on fundamental freedoms that was not possible in previous centuries.”
Murphy has written an analysis of the guide, which he hopes will give concerned parents, teachers and other family and faith advocates some arguments they can use to frame their opposition to the proposed changes.
“We’re limited in our ability to affect the political processes and influence the educational establishment directly,” he said, “but if we can get something into parents’ hands that’s solid, that’s rational, that’s usable, then they can be much more confident in taking their positions, if they find it necessary to do so.”
Education Minister Shirley Bond is still reviewing public feedback on the teaching guide.