Sunday's A Coming - May 25, 2011
My Dear Friends:
We live in a world that is changing at an ever increasing rate. That which was considered wrong a few decades ago is now considered right. That which was considered right a few years ago is now considered wrong. For people who hold traditional Christian values, these are truly challenging times, particularly if you have children in the public school system. That which the Bible teaches is wrong our public school system now teaches is right. What is a parent or grandparent to do?
As of last September 2010 all publicly funded schools in Ontario (secular and Catholic) were required to revise all curricula to affirm the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered communities. This includes grades JK to grade 6. Premier McGuinty, as a result of pressure from the traditionally-principled communities, had the controversial Health curriculum removed from the government websites (April 2010). Unfortunately however, nothing has changed because the Ministry of Education's "Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy"–the terms of reference document for all curricula– mandates all curricula (not just health), JK to 12, be revised (by the teacher if necessary) to be LGBT inclusive and affirming.
An organization called PEACE, sent the Ministry document and resulting lesson changes to a team of more than 50 clergy, from 12 different denominations and independent churches for their review. Their opinion is clear:
"This policy, and the resulting curriculum, will lead to the further deconstruction of our children's traditional Christian values." –Pastors' Strategy Meeting, February 2009, Crossroads, Burlington, Ontario
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, in their report "Alternative Approaches to Public Education" identified much curriculum as "contradicting the values of the home and church."
Did you know that People of Faith do have a choice not to accept that their children will be exposed to information that will lead to confusion about what is right or wrong for them? The Ministry of Education in the same document, mandates school boards to develop "accommodation strategies" for religious families. Further the Minister of Education, in a letter dated April 17, 2008 states: "should a component of any course conflict with the belief held by a parent .... the right to withdraw from that component of the course shall be granted on written request...." –Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Education, April 17, 2008
All parents have to do is "share their faith/values" with the school and ask that their child not be involved in instruction that contradicts the values being taught at home and church. To assist families, PEACE has created a common communication tool (i.e. form letter) that parents in both the secular public and Catholic schools can use. This universal letter, approved by all faith leadership who have seen it, shares the values of the family and the areas of instruction that may be controversial—not only the LGBT issue. The school is then simply requested to inform the parents when such instruction will occur. The advantage to this form letter approach is that it is easier for parents (who do not have to develop their own letter wording), the standard wording is clear but non-confrontational, and a uniform message is sent to the schools.
On June 1st, PEACE Ottawa will be hosting a session entitled "Share Your Faith in the Publicly Funded Education Systems." This event will be held at St. Patrick's Basilica, 281 Nepean St., Ottawa starting at 7:30 PM. Hope to see you there.
You do have a choice, if you chose to put a bit of effort out and exercise it.
Click on the follow to open the documents: