The Ontario Liberal…
… anti bullying legislation has brought out of the woodwork some prime examples of how narrow-minded self-interest can trump common sense and compassion.
Essenatially, the proposed legislation puts into place mechanisms that will mandate schools to act aggressively against those who bully. It also lays out some ground rules for those Boards who have students who wish to set up a club or organisation that supports alternative lifestyles. For the record, this is what the Bill – The Accepting Schools Act says to this:
(d) activities or organizations that promote the awareness and understanding of, and respect for, people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, including organizations with the name gay-straight alliance or another name.
And that last clause is what has certain (though not all) religious folks all in a slather.
The religious leaders say that agenda is driven by gay activists (snicker suppressed). Yup. The gays are behind everything evil, I guess.
“When you are forcing teachers, Christian teachers, Jewish teachers, Muslim teachers, to teach things that are contrary to the values that they hold, to teach that there are six genders and that you are not attached to the gender of your anatomy, do you not find that that may be an offence to a lot of Ontarians?” asked McVety.
Rabbi Mendel Kaplan of Chabad Flamingo Synagogue in Toronto said he also believes that parts of the anti-bullying bill aimed at making schools inclusive and tolerant of gay lifestyles are offensive to many families.
But there is nothing in the text whatsoever about Boards and schools being “forced” to set up these groups which scare them so… only that they shall not get in the way of a student or students who do want to set up and lead such an organisation. This will prevent backwards Boards like the Halton Catholic Board from banning such groups in the name that such groups run counter to their philosophies. There are some vague words in the Bill like requiring boards to develop and implement an equity and inclusive education policy, but I don’t see how this can be twisted to mean that all Boards will be required to teach about alternative lifestyles.
Of course, these so-called “religious leaders” will jump at any opportunity to frame progressive legislation as anti-tradition, anti-family and anti-freedom. What is really a set of strict rules intended to deter bullying targeted at any individual regardless of the motivation for the act is twisted into an “example” of how the government is infringing upon the religious rights of certain groups. Clearly, there is no such thing happening in this instance.
And yes, Charles McVetty, of the Institute for “Canadian Values” is the same guy who led a “successful” campaign against the reworking of Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum (successful is in quotes because I wonder how a positive slant can be given to a result that will inevitably result in more teen pregnancies, STDs, etc.).
Look – I guess the bottom line is that if you want to bury your head in the sand and seek education programs that reflect your values – that’s your business. And if you want to somehow twist this much-needed anti-bullying Bill to support your narrow-minded beliefs, well that’s your business too.
But it is my business when I, as a taxpayer of Ontario, have to indirectly support these values that I do not at all support. There are private faith-based schools out there who are waiting with open arms for people like you! Go for it! Please! Let the mass exodus of kids from public and separate schools begin!
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