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Four words…

for you if you want your child removed from the public school classroom if something is being taught that somehow offends your sensibilities:

“Home schooling” and “private schools”.

Ontario has tried hard to accommodate parents with conservative religious views who want their children excused from sex education classes. Typically, that means some students head to the library when the health nurse comes to talk about condoms.

But now a small group of parents who are angry that they lost the battle to keep support clubs for gay students out of the schools are taking things to a new level by demanding the right to pull their kids out of a wide range of classroom discussions that do not conform to their particular beliefs.

Their demands are impractical, indeed unacceptable in a public school system. Everyone from the education minister down to individual principals must push back against this pernicious trend.

Something called “traditional values” form letters are trickling into boards across the Greater Toronto area from conservative Christian and Muslim parents. The generally ask that schools notify them before teachers deal with certain subjects, including evolution, the environment, wizardry or any discussion that portrays gay relationships as “natural, healthy or acceptable.” This demand for prior notice is unreasonable. The schools need to be able to deal with these matters as they come up.

What’s a teacher to do when a student starts reading his English essay about Harry Potter flying his broom to the recycling depot? Whistle down the reader while the class is cleared of objectors?

OK? Got that? Don’t expect the publicly funded school system to accommodate every single quirky “value” that you dream up.



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  1. I remember getting sent to the office for not praying in the morning exercises (but sitting quietly so as not to cause a disturbance).

    I guess when it comes to tolerance, Christians are more “do as I say, not as I do”.

    We have education standards. The public school system teaches them. If a parent doesn’t like that, they can home school or use a private school. However, even then, I feel that a home schooled or privately schooled child should still have to demonstrate knowledge of the material laid out in the standards in order to graduate.

    If a parent’s beliefs are so weak that they can’t reliably brainwash teach their children, they’re probably not beliefs worth learning.

    1. trashee says:

      My Mom and Dad encouraged me to think for myself and develop my own beliefs, etc.
      I will forever be grateful for their forward thinking. It wasn’t typical for the times.

  2. Dave says:

    I always thought that part of the purpose of a public education system was to teach students the values and processes expected of Canadian citizens. Granted that when the systems were put in place no one was teaching sex ed or even mentioning such things as homosexuality but as our society has moved forward so has the subject matter covered. I couldn’t agree more that if you don’t wish your child exposed to the thinking of the majority you have the option to turn away, at your own expense from the public system. The sad part is as far as I am concerned that your child will be the loser in this struggle to maintain a narrow sheltered upbringing rather than exposing them to what is going to be the norm they have to deal with when they go to work.

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