Update – This article is no longer current as the charges have been dropped and Chris Kempling no longer needs financial assistance. Click here for details.
By ARPA Canada (www.arpacanada.ca)
Dr. Chris Kempling, the BC school teacher and counselor who has been facing ongoing discipline for the public expression of his Christian faith, needs financial support for what is shaping up to be a whole new round of legal action. This is a result of more charges this year from the BC College of Teachers (BCCT) which seems to be upset that Kempling has not learned from previous disciplinary action against him and continues to engage in political action as a Christian.
Kempling’s name is already widely known in this country. His previous legal battles go back to 2002 when the BCCT found him guilty of “conduct unbecoming a member” because he wrote letters to the editor of the Quesnel Cariboo Observer that were critical of a pro-homosexual program being promoted in the public schools.
Among other things he wrote “I refuse to be a false teacher saying that promiscuity is acceptable, perversion is normal, and immorality is simply ‘cultural diversity’ of which we should be proud.” Kempling appealed his resulting suspension to the BC Supreme Court in 2003, which sided with the BCCT. He then appealed his case to the BC Court of Appeal which, in 2005, also sided with the BCCT. Finally, he attempted to bring his case to the Supreme Court of Canada but the highest court of our land chose to not hear his appeal.
Just this year, Kempling received a new batch of charges from the BCCT. In an email to ARPA Canada, Kempling explained these new “offenses”:
“On January 28th of this year, I was cited for conduct unbecoming a teacher by the BC College of Teachers for writing a letter to the editor explaining my political party’s position on the same sex marriage issue. This was in January 2005. I already served a three month suspension imposed by my school district for that letter, but the College is entitled to impose their own discipline for the same offense if they wish – and clearly they intend to. In addition to the letter, they have cited me for:
– writing an essay discussing the philosophical differences between social liberals and social conservatives, published in the Calgary Herald on December 28, 2005;
– writing another essay on the implications of the school system’s pro-homosexual agenda, published in a family journal in Germany (in German);
– “having knowledge” that an article supporting me, written by Christian Heritage Party leader Ron Gray, was posted on the party’s website (I had no part either in writing it or posting it);
– and for “being the local representative of the Christian Heritage Party” (I was the candidate in the last federal election in Cariboo Prince George riding).”
“Unlike my last “offense”, my writings make no reference whatsoever to my role as a school counselor. There are no complaints from anyone, including anyone from the homosexual community. The principal letter of the citation was written in my role as a political candidate, a right fully protected by section 3 of the Charter. The College’s action is clearly an attempt to silence and intimidate anyone who wishes to publicly oppose the homosexual agenda, even if it is on their own time, in the role of a politician or journal contributor.”
Understandably, Kempling had enough of working in the public school system. This spring, he resigned from his job with the Quesnel School District and is moving to Kamloops to work for an independent school there. But Kempling is not giving up. He will be presenting his case at a hearing with the BCCT this fall. Unfortunately, he may have to cover for the full amount of his legal expenses because the BC Teacher’s Federation has pulled its legal aid because he has left the public school system. Although he already has some money saved, Kempling needs about $22,000 in additional funding to pay for his legal costs for the upcoming hearing. He will likely need further funding if his case goes back into the court system. Ideally it becomes a precedent-setting case to protect religious freedom in our land.
Kempling urges those who believe in his cause to stand behind him. “Frankly, I need help from my Christian brothers and sisters. I expect I will receive a significant penalty, and be obliged to fight another lengthy court battle. I will do my part by standing up for Christian values. With the support of faithful men and women of God, this time we will see a victory for Christ.”
Donations in support of Dr. Kempling can be sent to: Christian Public School Teachers Legal Defense Fund, c/o Mr. Jim Sagert, 798 Beaubien Ave, Quesnel, BC V2J 1S5. They can also be made at any Royal Bank branch. The transit number is 4720. The account number is 101-030-5.