This video brings back memories. Just the mention of those 28 private schools reminds us all of the court challenge against Bill 24. The emails. The phone calls. The Gideon Project. The appeal hearing and ARPA’s intervention therein.
The requirements of the Alberta School Act added by Bill 24 caused confusion, tension, and a healthy fear about the future of Reformed education. The communication from the Alberta Education Ministry under the NDP government gave an even stronger indication that the Ministry was unwilling to back down on their demands that every school adopt a “Safe and Caring policy” with objectionable content.
If demanding that Reformed schools adopt terms like gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, and allow “gay-straight alliance” clubs wasn’t enough, the Ministry demanded that Reformed schools remove from their policies all references to the Lord as the true source of wisdom and the infallibility of Scripture.
Reformed schools are safe schools. Perhaps the safest in the entire province, as the numbers suggest. Reformed schools protect all children, including those who struggle with gender dysphoria or are attracted to others of the same sex. Their safe and caring policies made this clear. And yet these policies were rejected and Reformed schools were told to post policies written for them by the government or risk losing funding in September of 2019. That’s where things came to a halt. Then along came an election.
Now we have a new government. A government that promised to bring the Education Act into force, which would eliminate the changes that Bill 24 made to education law. On June 5, 2019, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange introduced Bill 8, The Education Amendment Act. The Minister was attacked in the media and in the legislature. The debates in the legislature have been lengthy and heated. This video is just one example.
I’m sure this clip rekindled some emotions. A number of statements from the NDP are provoking: “28 private schools refusing to support GSAs.” “Push these types of discriminatory polices…” “We gave them time to come in line with Bill 24 and Charter rights.” “Transphobic school.” “Choose to discriminate against children.”
To be clear, we must always respect and pray for our government leaders including the leader of the opposition. But we must also hold them accountable. The previous government was driven and committed to an ideology that is an affront to God. We took a stand and made it clear that it is our Christian duty to raise children as God directs us. The Bible commands us to do this and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms allows us to do this.
Bill 8. “Bill Hate”? “Bill Straight”? Well, the NDP can call it what they want, but it’s better than the old Bill Dictate. All the rhetoric, nastiness, and insults should never stop parents and students from speaking up for their freedom to have schools that remain true to the Christian faith and the Word of God.
And so, it was refreshing to hear our Premier support diversity, religious freedom, and school choice. If you have a moment, contact his office and thank him and encourage him. There is still more work to do and more legislation needed to protect faith-based schools and their religious freedoms.