Pride flag to fly at schools

By 
  • May 13, 2021

The Pride flag will be flying over Ontario Catholic schools in a number of jurisdictions, including Toronto, in the month of June.

The Toronto Catholic District School Board was the latest to choose to fly the flag to commemorate Pride month, which celebrates the LGBT community, at its May 6 meeting.

Other Catholics boards that will fly the flag are Waterloo, Wellington and Thunder Bay. Trustees in the Halton Catholic District School Board chose not to fly the flag.

The Archdiocese of Toronto, in a May 4 reflection on inclusion after numerous inquiries from education partners, acknowledged the passionate feelings on all sides of the issue.

The reflection said that the symbol of the cross on every Catholic school “represents our faith and the inclusion and acceptance of others.”

“The cross outside of Catholic schools and any Catholic church, hospital or institution signals our commitment that all who enter the building are welcomed and loved in their beauty and uniqueness as children of God,” it said.

Efforts by a Catholic parent group were not enough to keep the Waterloo Catholic District School Board from flying the Pride flag for the first time this June.

Despite a call from PAFE (Parents As First Educators) for parents to contact the Hamilton diocese to keep the board from flying the flag, the board chose to ignore these calls.

Director of education Loretta Notten in a statement stressed that the decision falls in line with the board’s motto of “quality, inclusive, faith-based education,” and “simply affirms publicly what we know to be true about how our Catholic faith and gospel values of love, inclusion and a belief in the dignity of each person.”

PAFE had called on parents to contact their parish priest and Hamilton Bishop Douglas Crosby to keep schools within the diocese from becoming “places of ideological indoctrination.”

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