A new bill before the Alberta legislature could require home schoolers and faith-based schools to teach that being gay isn’t a sin and that diverse lifestyles are not a bad thing. The Alberta’s proposed Education Act states that “all courses or programs of study offered and instructional materials used in a school 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.”
An article from the Home School Legal Defence Association (HSLDA) of Canada calls the bill “attempt by a government to control what families teach in the area of values and beliefs in their own home”. The underlying message is that Big Brother is watching… and He won’t tolerate you teaching your kids that homosexuality is a sin. The HSLDA urges home schooling parents to contact the Minister of Education to ask that the law be amended.
As someone who has taught diversity programs and believes in the inherent worth of all persons, regardless of their orientation, I admit that I was surprised to read about the resistance to the new bill. I confess a certain naiveté around such matters. It never really occurred to me that parents may want to home school children so that they could teach them that being gay was a sin, but I suppose that could happen.
What do you think? Should faith-based schools and homeschoolers be able to teach the values that they believe in, even if they don’t reflect what the government requires?
2012 Bill 2, Alberta Legislative Assembly
“Alberta bill may make it illegal to teach that homosexual acts are sinful“, Catholic World News
“Homeschooling families can’t teach homosexual acts sinful in class says Alberta gvmt“, by Patrick Craine, Lifesite News
“Canadian Province Imposing “Diversity Training” on Homeschools”, Home School Legal Defence Association (HSLDA) of Canada
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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.