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anti-bullying

The Ontario anti-bullying bill…

… will be passed today, in spite of the chest-puffing by the Catholic church establishment and their School Trustees.

This is a good Bill and deserves to be the law of the land.

Now, Mr. McGuinty. Back off your belligerent stance on refusing to discuss bringing into public debate the mere possibility of a Constitutional amendment that will end public funding of Catholic schools.

Do it. It’s the right thing and the right time.

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Ontario Catholic School Boards…

… have their knickers in a twist over the Ontario Government’s insistence that Catholic schools allow Gay-Straight alliances in their schools as part of the overall provincial anti-bullying strategy.

You see, they want to have a faith-based education system within a secular system of government. And they want control over what is permitted in that system and what is not. And they want all Ontarians – Catholic and not – to pay for it.

They also want more or less total control over the last say about what student groups are sanctioned by the schools. Only those whose raison d’être fits within the Catholic mold need apply.

Charles Lewis, National Post
Monday, May 28, 2012

On Friday, Laurel Broten, Ontario Minister of Education, said that gay students who want to create support groups will be allowed to call their clubs “gay-straight alliances,” or GSAs. This is part of the province’s proposed Bill 13, which is intended to stop bullying in the school system. The decision to allow students to call their clubs GSAs is a recent amendment. The Catholic Church says it is, of course, opposed to bullying but does not want clubs called gay-straight alliances. Rather, the Catholic schools have proposed something called “respecting differences” groups that could cover bullying in general but also specific issues such as homosexuality.

On Monday, the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association held a press conference to try to explain their objections to GSAs and why their model would be better. However, the message was not exactly clear.

There is a court challenge threatened by the head Cardinal of somethingorother. Loud is the hue and cry about the “trampling” of religious freedom. This is an argument would hold some water if it were not for the fact that you and I, Catholic or not, are funding this discriminatory parallel education system and we elect representatives to work at Queen’s Park to set the rules about how these dollars should be allocated. This is the PUBLIC purse – not a private one where the Arch-Bishop-Cardinal dudes would have every right to scream “discrimination!”.

Perhaps times are changing. Rather than a forced marriage of the separate and public systems, we may be moving toward a bitter divorce (or more properly, an annulment). Not at the instigation of politicians or voters, but by the hand of the church itself should it walk away.

Freed from public funding, a truly separated separate school system would gain a respite from perceived political meddling — liberated to run its own schools in its own way. On its own dime.

A court challenge would be a good thing. Actually, it could be the beginning of the end to the duplicate system. Once the Pandora’s Box is opened, then there is a strong likelihood that there could be a constructive and vigourous debate on the future of the Catholic system in Ontario. Ontarians would have their eyes opened – and they would insist that their politicians do likewise.

And maybe, just maybe, one of the political parties will have the balls to suggest that the Constitution should be amended – thus paving the way to end the wastefulness that Bill Davis began, oh so many years ago.

Cardinal Thomas Collins, the archbishop of Toronto, is accusing the government of trampling “religious freedom” over changes that would let Catholic students call their anti-homophobia support groups “gay” clubs if they choose to do that. “Why is a piece of provincial legislation being used to micromanage the naming of student clubs?” asks Collins.

That’s a fair question. Here’s the simple answer: Ontario’s publicly funded Catholic education system has refused to get with the program and truly support its gay students. Anytime the province has given Catholic bishops and trustees a little leeway to do the right thing for gay students they have failed to do so. Now, they are, rightly, set to lose the ability to decide.

Trying to evoke some broad church and state war, as Collins did in his statement, is also bound to be a loser. In a warning to people “of other faiths,” Collins said, “if it happens to us, it can happen to you.”

This is nothing short of ridiculous. Every other faith group in Ontario can only dream of having what Catholics have – $7 billion in annual taxpayer funding for a separate school system. And just what religious freedom is Collins fighting to defend? The freedom to ban the word “gay” from Catholic schools? To shove gay teens back into the closet and make them feel like second-class citizens?

The church may be comfortable with that but it isn’t acceptable in our public school system. As McGuinty said on Tuesday, Ontario has “fundamental values that transcend any one faith.”

Gay-straight alliances and other clubs are places where students can receive much-needed support to get through what can be pretty tough days at school. These student clubs are not a threat to the Catholic education system.

But the church’s intransigence on this issue may well be. Each time Catholic officials and trustees show themselves to be well behind what their students want and broader society supports, they inevitably renew calls to pull public funding from Catholic schools.

ONE SCHOOL SYSTEM FOR ONTARIO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Happy Pink Shirt Day!!!!!

Wear pink! Show the world that you think that bullying SUCKS!

The Canterbury Community Association is pleased to announce….PINK SHIRT DAY– Anti Bullying Day – February 29th 2012.

DID YOU KNOW that the last Wednesday of February is known as Anti-Bullying Day in Canada and it is also known as “Pink Shirt Day“. This movement was started 5 years ago, in B.C, when 2 young boys and their friends took a stand against bullying by distributing pink shirts in support of a grade 9 student who was being bullied. Since then, the PINK SHIRT movement has grown throughout Canada, and we are standing united with the children of the Canterbury Community Association  After School Program to say BULLYING STOPS HERE!

The CCA After School Program serves over 100 children from area schools in the Alta Vista ward and has become a much sought after option for many area families seeking after school care for their kids. Pink Shirt day will serve to commemorate the children’s efforts towards maintaining a safe and friendly environment and further solidify their engagement in taking a stand against bullying.We want to invite you to join the movement with your team by promoting PINK SHIRT DAY to your colleagues and friends and wearing PINK on February 29th to take a stand against bullying.

Our Pink Shirt Day Festivities include; a visit from special guest Graham Richardson from CTV News Ottawa who will speak to the children about bullying. We are still seeking sponsors from the community to help us with crafts, peanut-free snacks and drinks for the kids. We will also plan to have meaningful activities and resources for the kids and their parents. Participants will be invited to sign the “Bullying Stops Here” banner in the main hallway; as a symbol of our unity and dedication towards positive relationships and taking a stand against bullying.

Many thanks to my fellow CCA Exec member, Jolyne, who has spearheaded this important event!

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Pink Shirt Day is coming…

… on February 29!

Support anti-bullying programs where ever you may be!

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There are freaks…

And then there are peeps like Charles McVetty!

OMFG!

Just heard that freako Charles McVety on the radio!

Listening to As It Happens last night and being reminded how narrow minded some people – e.g., like McVety can be.

Why does ANYONE buy into this stuff! The Catholic powers-that-be should have screened their spokesperson… this guy sounds like a pedophile creep! Seriously!

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