The Alberta Province of Canada is moving forward with an education bill that will redefine acceptable instruction regarding homosexuality. The Alberta Education Act passed through the Second Hearing on February 22, and mandates that the diverse nature of the province be reflected in all curriculum, including that of homeschoolers. Each school entity is called to “honor and respect” the Alberta Human Rights Act that protects gays from discrimination.
“Whatever the nature of schooling – homeschool, private school, Catholic school – we do not tolerate disrespect for differences,” stated Donna McColl, assistant director of communications for the Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk.
McColl went on to clarify that homeschoolers could use the Bible‘s teaching in personal, family time, but not as part of the curriculum. The difficulty is that many homeschoolers are in teaching mode all day long, informally and formally, and teaching foundational beliefs is part of their lifestyle.
According to Paul Faris of Home School Legal Defense Association, the Ministry of Education is “clearly signaling that they are in fact planning to violate the private conversations families have in their own homes. A government that seeks that sort of control over our personal lives should be feared and opposed.”
The bill still has some more steps in the legislative process before it can become law, but has picked up strong momentum. This legislation could open the door for greater policing of homeschooling families and imposition of a politically correct agenda, the very thing that causes many families to take their children out of public schools.
Homeschooling parents, Eric and Celeste Chamberlain of El Mirage, Arizona had some strong reactions to the idea of a bill like this in our state. They have chosen to homeschool so that they can have the freedom to teach Biblically based material as part of the curriculum.
“If I was told not to use Bible, I would be angry about that. It is my right to teach my children the Bible, and especially in homeschool. I don’t think gays should be disrespected, but people can respectfully disagree,” commented Celeste.
Eric added, “I don’t think the government should dictate how every school entity instructs. My curriculum is based on Scripture, which is clear on certain things such as marriage between a man and woman. You can’t teach two things that are polar opposites as both being correct.” He continued with stating he has no problem teaching cultural diversity and treating all people with respect and kindness.
Every legislative session brings the possibility that bills will be introduced that are designed to curtail individual freedom. With the US courts often deferring to international law, what happens in Canada could become grist for new interpretations of domestic statutes.