Update (March 9, 2012): It has been brought to our attention that the Education Minister, the Honourable Thomas Lukaszuk, has been standing repeatedly in the Legislature in these past few weeks to vigorously defend the funding of Independent Schools including religious schools. When communicating our concerns with our elected representatives in Alberta, please do express appreciation for this defence while also requesting that our other concerns regarding the new Act be fully addressed.
Update (March 6, 2012): Thanks in part to your willingness to speak up, the Alberta Education Minister has backtracked a little and now recognizes the primary role that parents ought to have in education. However, that does not mean that the Act itself has been amended. Read more
ARPA Note: On April 12, 2011, ARPA Canada and representatives from an Alberta ARPA chapter met with the office of the Education Minister in the Edmonton Legislature and were strongly assured that parental rights would be protected. The story below is a clear violation of that. After reading the full story, as well as this one, please phone and email the Education Minister’s office (780-427-5010), your MLA, and the Premier’s office (780-427-2251) and voice your concerns today. Talking points are below.
EDMONTON, Alberta, February 22, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Homeschooling groups are sounding the alarm this week as the Alberta government prepares to pass a bill that they say threatens to mandate “diversity” education in the home. The province’s new Education Act, re-tabled Feb. 14th by Alison Redford’s majority Progressive Conservative government to replace the existing Schools Act, stipulates in section 16 that all instructional materials in schools “must reflect the diverse nature and heritage of society in Alberta, promote understanding and respect for others and honour and respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Alberta Human Rights Act.” But, in addition to publicly-funded school boards, the proposed Act defines “school” to include private schools and “a parent providing a home education program.” Keep reading the LifeSite article here
ARPA Talking Points:
- Parents, not the state, are entrusted with the responsibility of educating their children. The state can assist parents in this task, not take it over. This is even recognized by Article 26 of the United Nations “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”
- Requiring parents and teachers to promote humanism and alternative sexual lifestyles is a clear violation of Section 2 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (including freedom of religion).
- Demanding allegiance to “diversity” as defined by the human rights tribunal and act is forcing religion (the secular humanist religion) down the throats of all Albertans.
- We received assurance from the Minister of Education’s office that parental rights would be protected. We would like to see parental rights enshired clearly in this new law.
- We look forward to swift changes to the Education Act.