TORONTO - The union representing 45,000 Ontario Catholic teachers has no objection to gay-straight alliances operating in Catholic schools. The Ontario Catholic School Trustees Association says GSA format as developed in the United States is in conflict with Catholic teaching, and that anti-homophobia clubs in Catholic schools should be called Respecting Difference.

Both sides say there is no conflict between these two positions.

"There's really no difference between OECTA's stance and our stance on serving the needs of all of our students, including those with same-sex attraction or gender-identity issues," said OCSTA president Nancy Kirby.

Published in Education

OTTAWA - The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada has warned Ontario legislators that passage of anti-bullying Bill 13 as is could result in years of tax-funded litigation.

“Before overriding the choices parents make in education, legislators are cautioned that this is not a right to be overridden casually,” write EFC legal counsel Faye Sonier and Don Hutchinson in an open letter sent to Ontario MPPs Jan. 25. “There is an obvious constitutional violation in forcing religiously based schools to establish clubs not endorsed by the faith community, parents or students, or to implement curriculum that disrespects their beliefs.”

Published in Canada
January 31, 2012

No to all bullying

Catholic educators have responded to the controversial anti-bullying initiatives of the Ontario government by politely but firmly indicating they won’t be bullied. Bravo!

The response came from the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association in a comprehensive document titled “Respecting Difference” that articulates the Catholic perspective on an issue that has become unnecessarily controversial. With input from trustees, bishops, educators and parents, the document exhibits compassion, clarity and resolve as it addresses bullying uniformly, rather than elevating one type of bullying above others.

It should be required reading for all educators.

Published in Editorial

A battle is looming between the Ontario government and Catholic schools after the Education Minister rejected a key component of a new anti-bullying policy from the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA).

Laurel Broten is insisting that Catholic schools permit single-issue clubs such as gay-straight alliances despite the OCSTA’s outright rejection of such groups in a long-awaited document titled Respecting Differences.

Released Jan. 25, Respecting Difference affirms the Catholic identity of Catholic schools by stating that all clubs and activities must be “respectful of and consistent with Catholic teaching.” The document follows the Accepting Schools Act introduced last November by the minority Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty that would require all schools to accommodate gay-straight alliances or similar clubs under a different name.

Published in Education

TORONTO - Ontario Education Minister Laurel Broten praised the anti-bullying initiatives undertaken by Ontario Catholic school boards and said she is “very confident” that Catholic schools can fulfill new government requirements to make schools safer.

Broten told The Catholic Register that she was “pleased when we launched the comprehensive action plan last week” and “standing side by side with Catholic teachers and trustees, each and every one of them was standing up against bullying.”

Published in Education
Page 2 of 2