Mom and dad to have more control over what's taught in Alberta schools under human rights changes
Power to the parents. Changes to Alberta human rights law will likely include more than just protecting free speech.
Parental rights are also said to be a part of the makeover.......
It would entrench the rights of parents to decide what their children will and will not be taught in school.
Though there is some coverage of this issue under existing rules governing schools, the decision of parents would now be recognized as a fundamental human right.
Parents would be given the opportunity to opt their kids out of instruction surrounding human sexuality, sexual orientation and other lessons counter to a family's religious convictions.
Details obviously still need to be worked out as to how all this would work.
I wonder how the teachers union is going to like this little development. Personally, because my kids are in the Catholic school system, I am comfortable with what they teach. Tolerance is part of the curriculum, but it's not reduced to being tolerant of just one group such as gays. Religion is also a component of their education, and prayers are allowed, they even have Priests come in for special celebrations. I know many families that are not Catholic who send their children to Catholic schools because of the quality of education.
I would not want for my children to be forced to remain in a class that is teaching something contrary to my beliefs, such as abortion as an option for birth control. I have explained abortion to my boys, and you can bet that the words "my body, my choice" did not enter into the discussion. Taking responsibility for your actions and understanding the consequences of those actions was high on the discussion list. I want the choice to be mine when it comes to what my kids are learning over and above the 3 R's. So I applaud Minister Blackett for bringing this issue back into the control of parents. "My kids, my choice". This is going to drive the lefties crazy, especially because it sounds like Blackett is no pushover.
"When we ran as a party in the last election we ran on family values, we ran on families and communities. That's what the premier led the last election on," says Blackett.
"As a government we talk about safe communities and all the members who make up that. At the core, has to be parents in the household."
............"Alberta is the most tolerant province in the country but we still get this redneck label," says the minister, who is also responsible for the province's cultural policy.
"In fact we're more open to things. We don't want them thrown in our face necessarily but we're open. We're tolerant. Just because we don't have a gay pride parade with 50,000 people in it, does that make us less tolerant? No. Absolutely not."
Blackett also repeats his commitment to free speech while opposing those who stir up hateful acts.
"If you have an opinion you have the right to have your opinion and somebody has the right to have the contrary opinion and they both have the right to be heard. And, you know, sometimes you just have to suck it up and have a little bit more faith in the tolerant Albertans we are.
"We want to move past the hurt-feeling stage. But we want to emphasize that those people who deliberately incite hatred, they're not going to be tolerated. If you're going to do that, you should be punished to the full extent of the law.
"There's no reason we should tolerate a swastika on a synagogue. There's no reason we should tolerate a burning cross anywhere."
This human rights debate is going to push some people's buttons. But, to his credit, Blackett does not wimp out when democracy gets messy.
"I have a 10-year-old and an eight-year old kid and I don't know how long I'm going to be in politics. For the time I'm here, I will always be able to look my kids in the eye and tell them I did the best I could and I made a difference. So I've got to go at it full-bore.
"The human rights stuff has been neglected for 12 years because people were too afraid to tackle the issue. But if you take a common-sensical approach and think what it means to your family and your community and look through that lens, the decisions are real easy to make."
We'll see how easy in the coming weeks.
With a huge majority, the legislation will pass. It looks like the lefties might have just met their match with this Minister! Free speech AND parental choice? Am I dreaming? I need more information, but from the sounds of it, my support is with what this Minister and what the government is trying to accomplish. Maybe my email to the Premier had an impact!
Email him with your support, he deserves it!