Education

07 Nov 2017 Your kids’ teachers could legally keep you in the dark

Donna Trimble Alberta Education Minister David Eggen has tabled long-expected amendments to the province's Education Act. Among other things, Bill 24, which is entitled "An Act to Protect Gay-Straight Alliances", will make it a crime for schools to inform parents if children are struggling with issues of sexual identity, or if they have chosen to join a so-called Gay-Straight Alliance Club at their school, unless children give their explicit consent. Donna Trimble from the group "Parents for Choice in Education" says the new rules are pretty egregious, because there are virtually...

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24 Oct 2017 LN Feature: Choice in education is worth our attention

Deani Van Pelt, Senior Researcher with Cardus Our guest on the Lighthouse News feature this week is Deani Van Pelt, she's a Senior researcher with Cardus regarding a recent piece in the Hamilton Spectator. --- LN: So, you had a piece published in the Hamilton Spectator earlier this month talking about education funding in Ontario. First,. some background. This was in response to another op-ed on funding for Catholic Schools, correct? DvP: That's right. The piece that came out was...

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24 Oct 2017 Reviewing the school board election results in Alberta

Donna Trimble Alberta residents went to the polls last week in municipal and school board elections. The group "Parents for Choice in Education" had published an online assessment of a number of public and Catholic school board candidates in advance of the election, particularly with respect to where they stood on things such as parental notification and parental rights. Executive Director Donna Trimble says they were able to list more than 200 trustees in 16 regions across Alberta in their online “vote wisely” voter’s guide, and they’re very pleased with the...

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17 Oct 2017 Alberta government threatens to release private school anti-bullying policies

Ed Hoogerdyk, Principal, Tyndale Christian School The Alberta government is poised to release a list of anti-bullying policies submitted by private and Christian schools last year in response to Bill 10. The umbrella group representing those schools is opposing that release. Ed Hoogerdyk is the principal of Tyndale Christian School in Calgary and he says the Freedom of Information request for the policies is premature, because more than a year after the policies were submitted to the Alberta Ministry of Education, there has been no response as to whether any of...

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10 Oct 2017 LN Feature: Protecting kids from their parents

David Eggen, Alberta Minister of Education Keith Penner, Principal of Living Waters Christian Academy There's a showdown looming in Alberta between the government and parents who choose not to send their children to public schools. Last week, Education Minister David Eggen put forward a plan to introduce a bill that would make it a crime for all schools - including private, independent, and Christian Schools - to communicate with parents if children in those schools decide to join so-called "Gay-Straight Alliance Clubs", or if those children admit to struggling with gender identity...

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03 Oct 2017 David Eggen at it again: more challenges for Alberta Christian Schools

Last week Education Minister David Eggen once again came out swinging against Albertan parents and Christian schools, promising that the provincial government will be introducing new legislation that will force all Alberta schools that receive public money to have a code of conduct in place that singles out protection for students on the basis of gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. The legislation will also require school policies to make it clear that students have a “right” to establish gay-straight alliance clubs and would also make it illegal for...

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26 Sep 2017 Bullying

ARPA is out with a new policy report. This one is entitled "Protect Them All", and it deals with anti-bullying policies in schools. Law and Policy Director André Schutten says a lot of provinces have been imposing on all schools - including independent Christian schools - an idea or a philosophy of bullying and student protection that's "fundamentally unjust, and informed by unChristian ideology." As a counter to that, Schutten says ARPA's report acknowledges that bullying is sinful and intolerable, but that there is a distinctly Christian approach to dealing...

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19 Sep 2017 Same-sex parents, Christian schools, and the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal

What happened? In May of 2014, a woman in a same-sex relationship called a private Evangelical school in Ontario to inquire about enrolling her pre-school aged child. The school informed the woman that her application would be rejected because she and her partner would not be able to sign the school’s list of shared views because one of those views is that marriage is between one man and one woman. The parents filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, alleging discrimination under the Human Rights Code. However, the Tribunal...

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19 Sep 2017 A Win for Christians

Albertos Polizogopoulos, lawyer The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has handed a major victory to a small independent Christian school in that province. The case was about whether the school was allowed to refuse admission to a child of a married same-sex couple. Lawyer Albertos Polizogopoulos represented the school in the case. He says the school received an admissions request into their pre-school program, but early in the call, the applicant told the principal she was in a same-sex relationship. He says the principal informed the caller of the school’s position on...

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19 Sep 2017 Parental Rights

Theresa Ng The Edmonton Public School Board has backed off a motion that would have forbidden staff from disclosing to anyone - including parents - the names of children who chose to participate in Gay-Straight Alliance Clubs. Theresa Ng, who blogs at Informed Albertans, says the motion pushed to implement the policy right across the province. Ng pointed out, “If (the) Edmonton Public (School Board) had passed this kind of a motion, then…the Minister of Education could say ‘Oh, well. We are being asked to do this.’ But I think it’s by...

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