The Justice Centre has released correspondence sent to independent schools by Curtis Clark, Alberta’s Deputy Minister of Education, threatening schools with defunding if they do not remove the following content from their “Safe and Caring” school policies:
Alberta Education states that failure to remove the above content from a school’s “Safe and Caring” policies “may result in funding implications … and the suspension or cancellation of accreditation.”
Schools in receipt of these demands and threats from Alberta Education, along with all schools in Alberta, had submitted their policies to David Eggen in March of 2016. Since March of 2016, in the past 2½ years, schools have not received a response from David Eggen as to whether he considered their policies to follow the School Act.
It was not until the week of September 4, 2018, that some schools finally received specific feedback about their policies from the Alberta Government, well after the start of the 2018-19 school year.
“By demanding that independent schools remove religious content from their safe-and-caring policies, David Eggen is attacking the welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment that these schools have in place,” stated lawyer John Carpay, President of the Justice Centre.
The Justice Centre represents parents and dozens of schools in a constitutional challenge to the Bill 24 secrecy provisions, which require withholding information from parents about their own children as young as five years old.
“In the name of ‘diversity’ David Eggen is attacking the constitutional right to have thoughts, opinions and beliefs different than his own,” continued Carpay.
“The government is requiring schools to repudiate their teaching that every woman and every man has transcendent, intrinsic worth, as created in the image of God. How is this respectful? How is forcing schools to conform to the state’s beliefs welcoming, or caring?” continued Carpay.
“The government insists that a school’s core values, such as the intrinsic worth of every person, play no role in its anti-bullying policies. In this way, the government insists on a lack of integrity, because schools can no longer allow their foundational beliefs to permeate all aspects of school policies and practices,” continued Carpay.
“This is a naked and aggressive attack against the Charter rights and freedoms of every citizen, and designed to intimidate schools which are now asserting their Charter rights in court. These bullying tactics are what you would expect in a repressive third-world dictatorship, not in a functioning democracy that respects the rule of law,” concluded Carpay.
Source: Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms
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