Anglican Samizdat

March 15, 2010

Compulsory equality in Ontario classrooms

Filed under: Political Correctness — David Jenkins @ 7:53 pm
Tags: , ,

My grandparents used to say to my parents, “I’m glad I’m not bringing up children in this day and age”; to gain perspective, “this day and age” was when I was young and we had no TV, no car, no telephone, the milk was delivered by horses pulling a cart and we learned to write with a scratchy pen that had to be dipped in an inkwell.

In their turn, my parents said the same thing to me; in the early days, we still had no car or telephone.

Now I look at my grandchildren and say to their parents, “I’m glad I’m not bringing up children in this day and age”.

There are many reasons; here is one:

TORONTO, Ontario, January 7, 2010 ( – The Ontario Ministry of Education has mandated that every school board in Ontario, Catholic and public, implement a new equity and inclusiveness policy by September 2010.

While the new initiative was devised with participation from the curriculum arm of the Ontario Bishops’ Assembly, it nevertheless would force Ontario’s Catholic school boards to recognize “sexual orientation” as a ground protected from discrimination.  The Vatican has warned, however, that such a recognition is usually part and parcel with the outright promotion of homosexuality. One prominent Catholic commentator and priest has said that this is indeed the Ministry’s aim.

The Ministry’s new initiative, called the Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy, requires school boards to address areas such as religious accommodation and the prevention of discrimination, which includes combating “homophobia.”



  1. Such non-discrimination provisions are built into most provincial education legislation in Canada. Most Boards have extensive statements on the issue. As a university based trainer of teachers – in a Christian university (I have both Catholic and Protestant/evangelical students) I would think that it is a given that teachers do not discriminate against students on any basis. Essentially,combating ‘homophobia’ does not demand that any faith based school accept homosexuality as normative behavior. One of my best schools for teacher training is a secondary school run by the Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver. There would be no difficulty with this kind of policy at that school which holds to a high standard of Christian values which I as an Anglican clergy person and educator can appreciate and participate in.

    My son is a school trustee in the Upper Grand District in Ontario (includes Guelph and surrounding area) and I know the policies of this Board already positively reflect the Ontario Ministry strategy. The area of adult and peer discrimination against particular individual students and groups of students is an area teacher organizations across Canada have been working on for years as a way of decreasing bullying in schools – part of a package promoting positive human inter-relationships. “Fighting homophobia” cannot be separated out of the larger mix of promoting positive social values as a goal of education, and to single it out as you seem to do is entirely unhelpful. Surely you are aware of the numbers of teenagers who have suffered serious emotional damage through bullying and discrimination – to the point of taking their own lives. We’re not just talking ideas here – we’re talking about human beings.

    Comment by Deacon Steve Bailey — March 16, 2010 @ 1:45 am

  2. Steve, since we’re comparing family notes, my daughter is a high school teacher in the GTA. Because she is only in her second year of teaching, she doesn’t get much say in her teaching assignments and has ended up with classes aimed at some of the most “challenging” students in the school. Although she probably wouldn’t appreciate me putting words in her mouth, I suspect her view would be that many well-intended policies that come down from on high, including this one, make little difference on the front lines; they mostly satisfy publicity and political agendas. It isn’t to say that they are bad or not well intentioned; there are just a whole lot of other things that governments, school boards, trustees and university educators could be doing that would make more difference in the classroom. I think my daughter would also say that her teacher training missed the mark in many areas.

    As an aside, my son and daughter spent one year in a Catholic high school in the southern Ontario area. It had the reputation of having the worst drug problem of the several high schools in the area and I don’t put much stock in the “high standard of Christian values” that some think exist in the separate school system. In defence of this school, it was much more willing to work with my wife and I in terms of moving our children forward to a level where they would be properly challenged than were the public high schools.

    Comment by Warren — March 16, 2010 @ 9:09 am

  3. My daughters grade 7 teacher is a lesbian. I have to wonder what messages are being sent, and what things are being taught (especially in the sex ed classes). Although I can guess at what reaction I would receive if I were to express any concern that the sex ed might not agree with our religous beliefs.

    Make no mistake about it, this legislation is a “thin edge of the wedge”. How long will it be untill employment equity laws requires my Church to allow homosexuals to teach Sunday School? Some may not have an issue with this, but to me it is no different than having an unrepentant adulterer teaching Sunday School. Anyone in a position that influences children MUST be held to a higher standard.

    I also have to wonder, if our Church is forced to allow a homosexual to teach the Sunday School, and if that person sexually abuses one of the children, who will shoulder the blame, and face the greatest amount of consequences (both legal and financial)?

    Comment by AMPisAnglican — March 16, 2010 @ 9:42 am

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