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Table of Contents for This Web-Page

Why School-Board Elections Are So Important

Parental Rights Vs. Government-School Hijack

Take Back the Schools:  A Plan to Restore Parental Control and Democracy to Public Education

An Outline for a Short Course on the Corren Agreement and Its Consequences  

The Text of the Corren Settlement Agreement

An Assessment of the Settlement Agreement between the Ministry of Education of British Columbia and Murray and Peter Corren

The Corren Settlement Agreement:  How Did We Arrive at This Point and What Should Parents of Traditional Morality and Their Supporters Do About It?

A Statement of Principles of Fairness for Students and Parents and of How They Can be Used to Remedy the Injustices of the Corren Settlement Agreement

An Analysis of Some Aspects of the Social Justice Twelve Course as approved by the British Columbia Ministry of Education

An Analysis of Some Aspects of the Development and Response Draft of  Making Space, Giving Voice: Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice Throughout the K-12 Curriculum—A Guide for Teachers

Parents' Directive Regarding the Education of Their Children

Petition to the Legislature of British Columbia [a Parents for Democracy in Education petition to have the government counter the effects of the Corren Agreement]

Some Ideas for Writing Letters Regarding the Corren Agreement

What Parents Can  Do in the Present Situation

 

Why School-Board Elections Are So Important

In November of 2011  in British Columbia we have municipal and school-board elections.  (We have not had time to check the dates in other provinces.)  The danger is that we will regard these elections of school trustees as secondary to elections for other government bodies, and not worth paying serious attention to.  Yet these bodies can affect our lives directly, and in the case of school-board elections, can affect the lives of our children and grandchildren, and our neighbours' children, very directly.  That is why we would urge that all of us should cast a carefully-considered vote in the school board elections.

It ought to be axiomatic that citizens have a right to know the political philosophies and objectives of the candidates who offer themselves as the citizens' representatives.  That is why questionnaires to candidates, though often not popular with those seeking election, are important tools to help people to vote thoughtfully.  On this website we offer two questionnaires that local groups (say ad-hoc committees) can use to ascertain where candidates stand on some crucial issues.  These questionnaires when sent to candidates are the responsibility of the individuals or groups sending them.   They do not come from BC Parents and Teachers for Life.  (Actually, your editor, not BCPTL must take responsibility for the wording as given below, though he has chosen the words for fidelity to principles that BCPTL espouses.)  

The first questionnaire below is for British Columbia residents.  We realize that the time before the school-board elections is short. But there is still time to make effective use of the questionnaire.  The questions asked are few, and a candidate should have no difficulty responding to them, assuming that he or she is knowledgeable and is willing to do some investigation into issues that any candidate ought to be familiar with.  The means of sending out such questionnaires and distributing the results are swift, given the facilities of e-mailing and faxing that we have.

The second questionnaire below is for those beyond the borders of British Columbia, who face similar issues.  We hope that such a questionnaire, adapted to your local conditions where necessary, will be useful to you whenever your school-board elections occur.

Action Item:  Send a questionnaire to your local candidates for school board.  (BC Parents and Teachers for Life would be pleased if you would e-mail us the results to executive@BCPTL.org so that we may pass them on to enquirers from your district who may contact us.)  If you can form an ad hoc committee to send out these questionnaires and to pass on the results to like-minded people in your school district, you will have performed a valuable service.
Oct., 2011

Questionnaire for School-Board Candidates in British Columbia

To the candidate:  Please e-mail the completed questionnaire to _________________.

 

1.      If elected, will you support the right of parents to be the prime determiners of the nature of their children’s education?

 Yes __________   No  _________

 

2.      Do you oppose the provincial government’s signing of the Settlement Agreement with the Correns?  (This agreement gave two private citizens special rights of input into British Columbia curriculum for the public schools.)


Yes, I oppose that Agreement __________


No, I agree with the provincial government’s signing the Agreement.  _________

 

3.      Will you work to allow parents within the school district to withdraw their children from classes in which sensitive material will be introduced?

 

Yes, I will work to procure the recognition of this right.  _________

 

No, I do not support this right. _________

 

 

4.      Will you work to ensure that schools do not teach that homosexual unions can be morally equivalent to marriage traditionally defined as between one man and one woman?

 

Yes, I will work to ensure this.  ______    No, I will not work to ensure this.  _____

 

 5.  Do you oppose allowing public schools to be used to give counsel in favour of abortion?

Yes, I oppose allowing this.  _____  No, I do not oppose allowing this.  _____

 

6.  Do you oppose incorporating material in the curriculum to give a favourable view of homosexual behaviour, euthanasia, or abortion?

 

Yes, I oppose incorporating such material.  ______

 

No, I do not oppose incorporating such material.  _____

 

 

7.  Under the guise of combating bullying (a worthy goal), “Out in Schools” brings what it calls
     “queer films”  into schools. (Reference:
      http://www.outinschools.com/content/What_is_Out_in_Schools_/1 )

 

     Will you work to ensure these films are not shown in the public schools?    
      
    Yes, I will work to ensure this. _____  No, I will not work to ensure this.

 

 

 

Signed:   ____________________________________________________            Date:  ____________________________

 

                (candidate for school trustee in __________________________________School District)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questionnaire for School-Board Candidates Outside of British Columbia

 

To the candidate:  Please e-mail the completed questionnaire to _________________.

 

1.  If elected, will you support the right of parents to be the prime determiners of the nature of their children’s education?

 

Yes ____________      No __________

 

2.  Do you oppose allowing public schools to be used to give counsel in favour of abortion?

Yes, I oppose allowing this.  _____  No, I do not oppose allowing this.  _____

 

3.  Do you oppose incorporating material in the curriculum to give a favourable view of homosexual behaviour, euthanasia, or abortion?

 

Yes, I oppose incorporating such material.  ______

 

No, I do not oppose incorporating such material.  _____

 

4.      Will you work to allow parents within the school district to withdraw their children from classes where sensitive material contrary to their family values is being introduced?

 

Yes, I will work to allow parents to do this.  ________

 

No, I will not work to allow parents to do this.  ______

 

5.      Will you work to ensure that schools do not teach that homosexual unions can be equivalent to marriage traditionally defined as between one man and one woman?

 

Yes, I will work to ensure this.  ______ No, I will not work to ensure this.  ____

 

 

 

 

Signed:  ________________________________     Date:  ____________________________

 

(candidate for school board in ______________________________________School District} 



October 20, 2011 

Parental Rights Vs. Government-School Hijack

by Chad Hills [in a blog on CitizenLink, a Focus on the Family Affiliate]

Parents are furious.

Why?

State governments are usurping parents’ God-given rights, responsibilities and roles in raising their children as they see fit, and to impart family values and morals regarding sexuality to their children. Our children’s morals and values are being hijacked by liberal state officials and schools boards.

For instance, on the West Coast, Governor Jerry Brown passed a California bill allowing minors as young as 12-years-old (7th graders) to get vaccinated for human papillomavirus (or HPV, a sexually transmitted infection) without notification or consent of their parents. See CitizenLink.com video coverage and CitizenLink.com news coverage …

Wisconsin passed a law that made explicit, contraceptive-based sex-ed mandatory in public schools, but another bill advocating for abstinence education may soon give parents a choice.

Meanwhile, on the East Coast, in New York, Mayor Bloomberg did the same thing as Wisconsin. He made contraceptive-based sex education mandatory in New York City public schools, regardless of family religions, beliefs or values.

There seems to be a growing trend to distort sexuality, remove it from the context of man-woman marriage and increasingly sexualize our schools. A constant battle wages between explicit anything-goes-contraceptive-based sex education and abstinence-until-marriage education.

[Read the whole blog article online at CitizenLink.]

 

Take Back the Schools--for Parents, for Citizens
(a plan to restore parental control and democracy to public education)

One of the basic purposes of BC Parents and Teachers for Life, as spelled out in our constitution, is to support the legitimate rights of parents as the prime educators of their chilren.   Not the provincial government, not school boards, not teachers' unions, but parents have the first responsibility in providing for their children's education.  Nevertheless, what we are witnessing in practice is the infringement of parents' rights as regards the public schools.  This infringement is taking place due to the increasing influence of  groups whose special interests are in harmony neither with the interests of students nor of  parents; nor, indeed, with the interests of citizens as a whole, who are paying for the costs of the public school system.  Regular readers of this bulletin will be familiar with the preposterous usurpation of power over education that is represented by the Corren Settlement Agreement giving two pro-homosexuality activists a special role in the review of all curriculum as its is revised.

Our concern has been matched by that of numerous other bodies.  We are happy to say that we, in these groups, stand ready to help launch a campaign to take back the schools on behalf of the parents, and of the citizens of this province.  (BCPTL is aware that such a campaign is needed in some other provinces besides British Columbia, and we encourage concerned groups in other provinces to take similar action.)

We see as a priority the protection of students from the effects of the Corren Agreement.   Having said that, here are some measures which we see as  a necessary part of this campaign:

 1. We see a need for a widespread effort to convey accurate information on the  Corren Agreement.  We have made a start on this through these bulletins, and other groups, too, have already begun to disseminate information and have been publicly expressing their concerns.  One aspect of this effort to inform the public should be public meetings at which the facts are laid out as to the nature of the Corren Agreeement and as to the nature of its effects -- those already manifest, as well as those logically predictable.  (Our acknowledgement goes to Graham Wray for his suggestions regarding these meetings.)  Various organizations, according to their resources, can supply speakers for such meetings.

 2. Out of each public meeting, study and action groups ought to be formed.  Perhaps several such groups can be formed in the larger centres.  Small groups can meet in homes. (Thanks to Sissy von Dehn for her ideas in this regard.)  In some localities, where large meetings cannot be held, small groups can be formed without such meetings.

 3. A number of organizations stand ready to help by providing advice and informative materials.  We have posted a good deal of material on the BCPTL website, and stand ready to supply information by e-mail if desired.  Sean Murpy of the Catholic Civil Rights League has written an extensive review which can be accessed from the CCRL website.

 4. What is needed is a local initiative in each school district in British Columbia.  The BC-wide organizations cannot accomplish the same things as a local group can.  Local groups can make representations to school boards, issue press releases to local papers, and disseminate information on an ongoing basis to local parents.  In addition they can make representations to the provincial government, so that government--hopefully--can be made aware that dissatisfaction is widespread regarding the undermining of parental and citizens' rights as regards education.

 5. Local and province-wide groups involved in this campaign to take back the schools must not wait till all our objectives are met.  We must consider what can be done at the present time to protect the children of the province as a whole; and, in particular, to help parents of traditional morality who object to their teachings being undermined by schools purveying harmful propaganda.

Here are some of the organizations which stand willing to help in the campaign to "take back the schools":

British Columbia Parents and Teachers for Life
Phone:  604-512-9594.  E-mail:  executive@BCPTL.org 
Mailing address:  
Box 45531,
Sunnyside Post Office
2397 King George Highway
Surrey, BC, Canada  V4A 9N3
    
We have established this special page, which you are now reading, to  include various resources which can be downloaded and made use of.  
   
We encourage parents and others concerned about the matter of control of the schools and moral issues in education to subscribe to The British Columbia Parents and Teachers E-Mail Bulletin.  (See "BCPTL Bulletin" in the left-hand column of this web-page.  Please invite like-minded people you know who are not receiving this bulletin,  to subscribe.)  We will attempt to give ongoing news that pertains to this "Take Back the Schools" campaign.

Parents for Democracy in Education Society
Len Remple, who has expended tremendous effort in seeking to make representations on behalf of those concerned about the Corren Agreement, heads up this society.
Contact information:
E-mail:  lenremple@shaw.ca
Phone: 604-308-9887 

Len Remple, President 
3940 Verdon Way 
Abbotsford, B.C.  V2T 7Y3
   A brochure is available.

Canadian Alliance for Social Justice and Family Values Association 
E-mail:   calliance@can.rogers.com
This organization, headed up by K-John Chung, has been very active, chiefly in the Chinese-Canadian Community, in the support of marriage and of public morality.  CASJAFVA has proved to be very effective in spreading the pro-family message among the ethnic Chinese community.  Its website is to be found at  http://www.canadianalliance.org/english/index.php  , or the Chinse version, for the ability to access Chinese script, at   http://www.canadianalliance.org/chinese/index.php    .  CASJAFVA publishes a magazine, available free by e-mail subscription.

REAL Women of BC 
Doris Darvasi, President  Phone 694-999-8102 
Laurie Geschke, Director  Phone 604-463-1611 
(The acronym "REAL" stands for "Realistic, Equal, Active, For life.)  "REAL Women of BC is a pro-life, pro-family, registered non-profit, non-partisan, non-denominational, grassroots political lobbying organization and family advocacy group."  Their website can be found at
http://www.realwomen.bc.ca/  where there is a facility for e-mailing them.

Catholic Civil Rights League (Western Division)
Website: http://www.ccrl.ca/index.php   Contact information:  http://www.ccrl.ca/index.php?id=120&content=Contact%20Us
Sean Murphy's very thorough and
rather philosophical review of the teachers' guide to Making Space, Giving Voice  .
A detailed web-page on the Corren Agreement and CCRL action taken so far may be found at http://www.ccrl.ca/index.php?id=4835#Introduction   

Canadian Nurses for Life (Vancouver)
Cecilia von Dehn
Phone 604-224-0435

[The names of other organizations may  in the future, with their permission, be listed as participating in this joint effort.]

 

We need your help.  You may or may not be a parent of a student in the public school system.  We have good reason to believe that while your child who is in an independent school or is being homeschooled may be safe from the effects of the Corren Agreement for the time being, such students in the future may not be exempt from its effects.  You may not be a parent, but a grandparent or simply a concerned citizen.  We would like to build up a list of people who are willing to do something to help to take back the schools for the parents and citizens of British Columbia.  Please indicate your willingness to help by sending one or more of the organizations listed above, your name, e-mail address, and location.  Please write "Take Back the Schools Volunteer" on the subject line.  


An Outline for a Short Course on the Corren Agreement and Its Consequences

(Suggested Information to be Conveyed in Large- and Small-Group Meetings in the “Take Back the Schools” Campaign)

(Refer to the articles on this web-page for further information.  Much of the information in this outline is from those articles, and it is suggested that speakers leading small-group and large-group meetings familiarize themselves with such articles and with the Corren Settlement Agreement itself.  It is hoped that a large number of people will be able to lead small-group sessions using this outline and the articles shown or linked to on this webpage.)

1.      How did we get into the position we are in now?

       A short history of pro-homosexuality activism and how it had already influenced education in BC before the Corren Agreement:
This activism is not a merely local phenomenon, but widespread through the world.
In British Columbia :
*On February 11, 1997, Murray Warren, as he was then known, made a presentation to Coquitlam school trustees.   In his presentation he indicated his overall aims when he said:  “Nowhere in the curriculum are the many and significant contributions of lesbian and gay people, living and dead, acknowledged.  Our school libraries are devoid of resources that positively affirm the achievements of gay and lesbian people in the arts, in literature, science, medicine, social sciences, politics, and in every other sphere of endeavor.”
*Just a few days before Christmas, 2002, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down its verdict in the so-called “Surrey Gay Books Case.”  In her judgement the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada found against the Surrey School Board for failing to approve as teaching material certain books promoted by homosexual activists. Murray Warren was one of the petitioners in this “book case” against the Surrey School Board.
* Many “Gay-Straight Alliances” have been established in B.C. schools, in most cases apparently without objections from parents.   For an example see “Portrait of a Gay-Straight Alliance Club in a Public School” ( http://www.bcptl.org/gay.htm#portrait )
*Murray Warren and his partner, Peter Cook,  brought the case before the BC Human Rights Tribunal in which they alleged that the Ministry of Education had failed to make the B.C. curriculum inclusive of positive and accurate portrayals of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered students and same-sex families.  Rather than have this case continue, the BC government in 2006 signed the Settlement Agreement with the two men, who now go by the surname “Corren.”
 

2.      What is the nature of the Corren Settlement Agreement?

      (We need to be clear and to make sure others are clear about the terms of the
      agreement.)
* The first point in the Settlement Agreement is an agreement regarding the “Alternative Delivery Policy.”  This part of the settlement ensures that parents who might have objections to the revisions of curriculum envisioned will not, for most subjects, be able to opt for the “Alternative Delivery Policy” which may exist for Health and Career Education K-7, Health and Career Education 8 and 9, and Planning 10.   The agreement with the Correns guarantees that the option of an “Alternative Delivery” will not be available except in those subjects.
(What is meant by an “Alternative Delivery Policy”?  For an explanation we may turn to something called
Policy Document: Opting for Alternative Delivery -- Health and Career Education 8 and 9 and Planning 10 [Reference:
http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/policy/policies/pp-capp_alt_delivery.htm ] ).
* Under the “Settlement Agreement,”
The Ministry was to draw up internal review guidelines to use in reviewing draft IRPs to ensure, ostensibly, “  . . . every draft IRP incorporates consideration of equality and respect for all learners.”    Not only was the Ministry to consult with the Correns in preparing the Guidelines, but also it would provide them with a draft of the Guidelines for their comment before finalizing them for implementation on or before September 30, 2006.
* Not only are the Correns given an extraordinary role, but so are any organizations and groups which they name as having “ . . .expertise in sexual orientation, homophobia and other issues of inclusion and diversity in the curriculum.”  The Ministry promises to “ . . .solicit feedback directly from these organizations and groups regarding the IRP Response Draft(s), when each Response Draft is posted on the Ministry’s website.”
* The Complainants are also given a special role in reviewing the schedule for revision of the IRPs.
* A second part of the settlement with the Correns promised a new Grade Twelve course on social justice issues (a ‘Social Justice IRP’).  One topic of study within the Social Justice IRP would “address issues of sexual orientation/gender identity.”   The Correns were given a special consultative role.  It was also agreed that “Prior to release of the Social Justice 12 Response Draft for public review and response,” the Ministry would  provide the Correns with a draft of the sexual orientation/gender identity  portion for their review, and would make revisions as appropriate in light of the comments received.  The Complainants were allowed to consult experts, on a confidential basis, to assist them in providing such comment.

3.      What Effects Has the Corren Settlement Agreement Had So Far?

      --Social Justice 12
      *
The first startling fact about the draft course is that it fails to include information on recommended learning resources for the course.    In fact, we are told that these will not be available until the final publication of the IRP.  In other words, the general public will have no input into the selection of recommended learning resources, in contrast of course to the role of the Correns.  Since the nature of recommended learning resources can, to a large extent, determine the nature of the course, this means that the general public, including organizations like our own, will have been excluded from providing input regarding a very important aspect of the course.
      * Under “Considerations for Program Delivery,” on Page 14 of the draft IRP, we read this curious sentence:  Ensure students are aware that their parents may have access to the schoolwork they create only insofar as it pertains to students’ progress.”  We cannot help but wonder, “What does this mean?  Does this mean that certain assignments (given though not counted for assessment) are to be kept secret from parents?  If so, what type of assignments would they be?”
      * We should note that  not only are measurable and observable skills and knowledge prescribed, but attitudes as well ( Ref.:Page 21 of the draft IRP, under “Prescribed Learning Outcomes,”).  What attitudes are these, and what are the consequences for those students who fail to develop them and thus fail in this respect to have the prescribed learning outcomes?
      * The subsection on “Defining Social Justice” raises some very important questions.   We are told on Page 24 that it is expected that students will “demonstrate understanding of concepts and terminology of social justice, including . . .”   --and there follows a fairly comprehensive list of terms.  But no definitions of those terms are given.   We may conclude, then, that the individual teacher will have the responsibility of providing the definitions and the statements of concepts which students will be expected to demonstrate understanding of. 
       * In the subsection on “Recognizing and Analyzing Injustice” (pp. 24-25), we are told that one of the prescribed learning outcomes is that students will be expected to describe social injustice based on certain characteristics.    These characteristics are to include age, marital or family status, mental or physical ability, nationality or "rationality," political affiliation, race and ethnicity, religion and faith, sex, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.  While the list is suggestive of many topics worthy of consideration by students, one wonders what descriptions of social injustice in certain of these categories will be considered acceptable.  For example, will a student be expected to describe same-sex marriage as a move towards justice when discussing marital status and sexual orientation?  Such questions become particularly relevant when we read (on Page 25) that students will be expected to analyze specific examples of injustice in Canada related to characteristics such as . . . (and the same list including marital or family status and sexual orientation is given).   Will students be expected to regard any description of heterosexual inclinations as the norm as being an example of injustice?  What about the limitation of the legal definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples:  a definition only recently jettisoned?    What about the belief of many religious bodies that legitimate marriage should be limited to opposite-sex couples?  Will students be expected to condemn such religious teachings in the process of giving specific examples of injustice in Canada ?
     * The same questions regarding the scope given to students and the attitudes they are expected to adopt arise when we consider that students are to be expected to “analyze the social justice implications of legislation, public policy, and other forms of government action in Canada with specific reference to . . . ”  (and among the legislation included is the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the BC Human Rights Code, and the Civil Mariage Act).
    * What is to be the fate of the student who does not share the teacher’s attitude toward particular concepts of social justice?

    * In the section entitled “Student Achievement:  Recognizing and Analyzing Injustice, among the examples given in the context of injustice are marriage, adoption, and spousal right.    Since marriage is listed in the context of injustice to LGBT people, clearly it is suggested that students should regard as an injustice the previous legal definition of marriage as opposite-sex.
   
Summary:  “Although the Social Justice 12 course as outlined in the draft IRP will deal with many topics worthy of students’ consideration, it is, due to bias and lack of specified direction, a course which allows for the possibility of gross abuse on the part of the teacher who might choose to use it to propagandize for his own particular viewpoint.   As well, the addition of learning resources not open to criticism from the public could result in a course that distorts the whole consideration of social justice in the services of a radical agenda.” 

Human Rights Code, the Civil Marriage Act, and the hate provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada).

     -- Making Space, Giving Voice (Teachers’ Guide): 
    * The Guide provides the teacher with a “rating instrument” entitled “
Assessing How I Address Diversity and Social Justice in my Teaching Practice”  [P. 8], but the idea that classroom activities and guest speakers should reflect all forms of diversity found within a community poses a problem.   Are all forms of diversity really to be represented?  Surely not the diversity represented by those advocating the free use of recreational drugs, for example.   It is unlikely that the authors of Making Space had such advocates in mind, but if the reader is familiar with the practice of bringing in speakers to reflect diversity in sexual orientation, he can readily see one likely effect of the policy of having speakers reflect all forms of community diversity.
    * One of the statements contained in the “ranking instrument” seems to suggest that the teacher’s value as a teacher may depend on his outside activities (ironical in light of the treatment meted out to Dr. Chris Kempling for his outside activities).   The sentence is: “I
support & participate in the various national and international initiatives that promote diversity and social justice, and promote the activities planned within the school and district during that week [sic].”   Surely it is not a good idea to have a government document  present such participation as a measure of a person’s suitability for teaching.  Also, we note that these are but examples.  Would participation include going to “gay pride” parades, which the school-sponsored clubs usually known as gay-straight alliances have encouraged students to attend?
    * A list of “Additional resources that might be considered” is included in the document, and what is included is revealing.”  For example, for Kindergarten to Grade 3, the document lists the book Asha’s Mums (infamous in British Columbia for its being promoted by pro-homosexuality activists in Surrey School District , an action that resulted in a Supreme Court of Canada case). 5   Another “additional resource” that is, in effect, promoted in this document, is Belinda’s Bouquet, apparently valued by the authors of Voices for its “context” of dealing with “gender stereotypes, self-esteem and body image, diverse family structures (same-sex parents).”
    * The bias of the authors of this document shows clearly in the list of websites given as references.   As Sean Murphy has pointed out, the only religious website given is that of “
The Dalai Lama Centre for Peace and Education.”  The website addresses of the “Status of Women Action Group” is given, but no reference is given to any “REAL Women” website.   The Gay and Lesbian Educators of BC (GALEBC) website is given, but none for any group with opposing views.
    * Throughout the document the Ministry of Education sidesteps acceptance of responsibility for their promotion of certain viewpoints and organizations in contrast to those of differing points of views.   Regarding the website resources the teacher is reminded:  “As with all supplementary resources, local approval is required before use with students..”  (This is an appropriate reminder in itself, but when combined with the bias shown towards certain points of view, the repeated use of such disclaimers amounts to an abdication of responsibility.)

     --“English 12 First Peoples” Course:
The draft course English 12 First Peoples is posted on the Ministry of Education website at  http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/irp/drafts/  .     
It is worth remarking, that the government, so unresponsive to some of the concerns of people of faith, should have included in this draft course these words:  "Learning ultimately supports the well-being of the self, the family, the community, the land, the spirits, and the ancestors. . . . "  --and these:  "An effective implementation of English 12 First Peoples will draw attention to recurring themes that are characteristically part of the worldview of many First Peoples such as
 
                                  connection with the land and environment
                       the nature and place of spirituality as an aspect of wisdom in First Peoples cultures".

The philosophy of the Corren Settlement Agreement  is recognizable in this course as it was in the drafts of Social Justice 12 and in the teachers' guide Making Space, Giving Voice.  For example, we read: "In this course, students will encounter texts that address male and female roles, race, racism, social status, interpretations of “wealth” and “poverty,” violence, sexuality, and sexual orientation, including “two-spiritedness” – aspects of First Peoples lived realities.  . . . ."  The term "two-spiritedness" is a term used in pro-homosexual writing to refer to bi-sexualism and give it the air of political correctness that comes from identification with supposed aboriginal culture.

 

 

4.      What are the Likely Effects of the Corren Agreement in the Future?

      * recognition of the “Correns’ recommended “experts” as authorities in the revision of future courses
* secretive nature of the changes due to intimidation of teachers thanks to the Kempling case
No other  practising teacher seems to have spoken out against the pro-homosexuality propaganda program in British Columbia.
*
As various courses are revised, under the new conditions imposed by the agreement between the Correns and the Ministry of Education, we may expect many of the courses to reflect the aims of that agreement, which requires the presentation of a favourable view of homosexuality:  a view that the Correns wish to see imparted to students at all levels. 

5.      What Actions Can We Take to Protect Students from the Corren Settlement Agreement?

              (a) What can parents do to protect their own children?  (We need to inform parents of these things.)

* Now, more than ever, it is necessary for parents to be involved in the schools.  In spite of the fact that there are countless dedicated teachers in the public school system, we cannot close our eyes to the fact that there are forces seeking to use the schools to promote their own ideologies in radical opposition to the life-views of parents of traditional morality.
* Parents must know the school that their children attend.
* BC Parents and Teachers for Life, in an effort to help parents in their efforts to protect their children, has issued a “Parents’ Directive Regarding the Education of Their Children.” 
This document when sent to the school does not come from British Columbia Parents and Teachers for Life.  It is only of value if it is recognized as coming from the parents who deliver it.    (See www.bcptl.org/schools.htm#directive  .)
* Parents should write seeking assurances that students will not be penalized if their parents keep them home when certain sensitive topics (ones which are likely to be used to propagandize) are discussed in class.  Of course, parents will also need assurance that prior notice is given them before the discussion
of such topics.
*
Inevitably many parents will choose independent schools, many of them faith-based schools.  So far, independent schools receiving grants from the province may be allowed to continue to teach in a manner consistent with the faith of parents and supporting churches.  They may be allowed to ignore any sections of the curriculum devoted to affirming the validity of life-styles to which parents are opposed.
  Enrolling students in independent schools does not absolve the parents of their obligation to know their schools. 
*
So far, home-schooling is an option in British Columbia .  Parents have a great deal of freedom to choose the form that home-schooling takes, whether it is organized by the parents individually, or through a purchased program—or by distributed learning, or correspondence, which can come from the Ministry of Education.  Home-schooling naturally offers the greatest opportunity for the parent to know what is taught to the students.  Before venturing into home-schooling, however, parents should count the cost.  If your child is not to be deprived of important components of education, you need to make sure you have the ability and the resources of time to function as a teacher or guide in your child’s schooling.   You need to also make sure your child has sufficient opportunities for social interaction with others

            (b) What can we do to protect education in general?

* Comments can be sent to the Ministry of Education using the following contact information:
    Education Standards Unit
    Box 9183 Stn Prov Govt
   Victoria, BC V8W 9H1
   EDUC.Achievement@gov.bc.ca

  We recommend that a copy of your serious concerns be sent to the Education Minister and the Premier.
   
*
Though no one else has been given the guaranteed input that the Correns have been given, there is an opportunity on a government website for the review of draft courses as they are released to the public.  Individuals and organizations can also request direct notification when draft curricula and other documents are posted for public review.  The e-mail address you can use to send in your regular or e-mail address if you request such notification is now
 
L_educ_curriculum_information-join@lists.gov.bc.ca  .  Note that the information about subscribing to this information service is to be found at  http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/irp/  .

* We need to inform others of the situation regarding the Corren Agreement and its effects and potential effects.  We can put pressure on the government, but in the meantime we need to take measures to protect the young from all kinds of harmful propaganda in the schools.

 

 

The Text of the Corren Settlement Agreement

The text of the Corren Agreement, formerly found on a government website at http://www.ag.gov.bc.ca/public/corren/agreement.pdf  , seems to have been moved.    It is now found at http://www.llbc.leg.bc.ca/public/PubDocs/bcdocs/405645/corren_agreement.pdf   .

However, to ensure that you can find the document even if its location on the internet changes, we offer the following.  Just click on the following link to read a saved copy of the Agreement:

Corren.pdf

 

An Assessment of the Settlement Agreement 
between the Ministry of Education of British Columbia and Murray and Peter Corren

Parents and others concerned about education should be alerted to danger on reading the news that the Province of British Columbia has signed an agreement giving an unprecedented role to two private citizens in the review of courses--these citizens being pro-homosexuality activists who have made it clear that they seek a thorough revision of curriculum to ensure that homosexuality is given a favourable treatment. 

British Columbia Parents and Teachers for Life was alerted years ago to the plans disclosed by one of the two activists, and ever since has been warning of the agenda of the proponents of homosexual propaganda for the schools.  Unfortunately, our warnings and the warnings of that unusually courageous teacher Chris Kempling have been largely ignored by many of those who, one would think, would be most concerned.

We predict that not only students in public schools but also those in Independent schools and those taking British Columbia Ministry of Education courses in home settings will be affected by the Province's agreement with the Correns.  It seems highly unlikely that any exemption will be allowed, or at least allowed to stand, that permits alteration of the curriculum to respect the wishes of parents or of independent institutions to which parents might entrust their children.

We have now had a chance to read a copy of the “Settlement Agreement” between Murray Corren and Peter Corren on the one hand  (“complainants”) and the British Columbia Ministry of Education (“Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of British Columbia as represented by the Ministry of Education”).  In the paragraphs immediately following we will give our analysis of that agreement.

The first point in the Settlement Agreement is an agreement regarding the “Alternative Delivery Policy.”  This part of the settlement ensures that parents who might have objections to the revisions of curriculum envisioned will not, for most subjects, be able to opt for the “Alternative Delivery Policy” which may exist for Health and Career Education K-7, Health and Career Education 8 and 9, and Planning 10.   The agreement with the Correns guarantees that the option of an “Alternative Delivery” will not be available except in those subjects.

What is meant by an “Alternative Delivery Policy”?  For an explanation we may turn to something called Policy Document: Opting for Alternative Delivery -- Health and Career Education 8 and 9 and Planning 10  [Reference: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/irp/  ] .  This document says, under the sub-heading “Policy”:

 
The health component of Health and Career Education 8 and 9 and Planning 10 addresses topics which some students and their parents or guardians may feel more comfortable addressing at home. In some cases, students, with their parents' or guardians' consent and in consultation with their school, may choose not to participate in classes when these topics are discussed and, instead, address the topics in an agreed upon alternative manner.

“It is expected that students will complete the related learning outcomes and demonstrate their knowledge of the health topic(s) they have chosen to learn in an alternative manner.

“This option is only available for topics that are part of the health component of Health and Career Education 8 and 9 or Planning 10. This option is not intended for any other curriculum.”

Under “Procedures” the Ministry document explains:

School boards are expected to have policies for alternative delivery of these topics in place.

“School boards are encouraged to develop a variety of ways for topics that students and their parents or guardians may feel more comfortable addressing at home to be covered through alternative delivery. They may also invite parents or guardians to propose alternatives for delivery of content, which are suitable to their needs.

“There are several options that school boards can provide for students who request the opportunity to complete topics that they may feel more comfortable addressing at home outside of regular classroom instruction. Examples include:

  • home instruction using a school-determined package of materials or other agreed upon materials

  • Distributed Learning (formerly distance education/distance electronic learning) 

  • self-directed studies”

It should be noted that even under “Alternative Delivery” the options of the parents might be limited, depending on the exact policy developed by a local school board.  However, had the “Alternative Delivery Policy” been extended to the many subjects other than those named which will be affected by the revisions referred to in the “Settlement Agreement” with the Correns, there might have been some acceptable ‘out’ provided for parents who objected to the proposed revisions.  This door has been locked before it could be opened.  For every other subject, when the course is revised, the following statement will be added to its “Integrated Resource Package” (which is equivalent to a “Program of Studies”):  “The Opting for Alternative Delivery Policy does not apply to this IRP.”

It is worth noting that a letter regarding the agreed “Opting for Delivery Policy,” to be sent out to School Board Chairs and school district superintendents, with copies to various bodies, will first be provided in draft form to the Correns for their review.  Only then will the finalized letter be sent out:  this to be done before September 15, 2006.

The extraordinary role given to the Correns also appears in the terms of the “Settlement Agreement” regarding the “Internal Review Process.”  The Ministry will draft internal review guidelines to use in reviewing draft IRPs to ensure, ostensibly, “ . . . every draft IRP incorporates consideration of equality and respect for all learners.  “To that end [the Settlement Agreement says], the Guidelines will provide a framework for the Ministry to review each draft IRP from the perspective of inclusion and respect for diversity with respect to sexual orientation and other grounds of discrimination, and an over-arching concern for social justice.”  Not only will the Ministry consult with the Complainants (the Correns) in preparing the Guidelines, but also it will provide them with a draft of the Guidelines for their comment before finalizing the Guidelines for implementation on or before September 30, 2006.

Not only are the Correns given an extraordinary role, so are any organizations and groups which they name as having “ . . .expertise in sexual orientation, homophobia and other issues of inclusion and diversity in the curriculum.”  The Ministry promises to “ . . .solicit feedback directly from these organizations and groups regarding the IRP Response Draft(s), when each Response Draft is posted on the Ministry’s website.”  The Complainants are also given a special role in reviewing the schedule for revision of the IRPs.

At this point it is worthwhile to pause and consider what sort of revisions to the curriculum the Correns and their allies will likely be demanding.  “Demanding” is the right word, because later on in the Settlement Agreement it is made clear that anything the Correns consider noncompliance with the Settlement may be appealed to a mediator appointed by the Human Rights Tribunal and in the event of that mediation being unsuccessful, to the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

The extent of the revisions the Correns will be demanding was indicated years ago in a presentation one of the activists made to the Coquitlam School Trustees.  In asking for a program to address the supposed needs of “sexual minority” students, he complained, “Nowhere in the curriculum are the many and significant contributions of lesbian and gay people, living and dead, acknowledged.  Our school libraries are devoid of resources that positively affirm the achievements of gay and lesbian people in the arts, in literature, science, medicine, social sciences, politics, and in every other sphere of endeavor.” 

What the Correns are seeking in the school curriculum, we may conclude, is a positive affirmation of the achievements of homosexuals in every area of human endeavour.  Hence the proposed revisions will affect every course in the curriculum.

A second part of the settlement with the Correns promises a new Grade Twelve course on social justice issues  (a “Social Justice IRP”).  “The purpose of this IRP [the Settlement states] will be to explore, from legal, political, ethical and economic perspectives, the concept of a just and equitable society in which there is full participation of all peoples.  One topic of study within the Social Justice IRP will address issues of sexual orientation/gender identity.”   Again, the Complainants are given a special consultative role.  It is also agreed that “Prior to release of the Social Justice 12 Response Draft for public review and response, the Respondent  [the Ministry] will provide the Complainants with a draft of the sexual orientation/gender identity portion for their review, and will make revisions as appropriate in light of the comments received.  The Complainants may consult experts, on a confidential basis, to assist them in providing such comment.”

We should note the fact that this consultation with the Correns is to take place before the draft course is released to the general public.  A pilot version of the new course is to be completed on or before June 30, 2007, and full implementation is to take place in September, 2008.

It is true that Social Justice 12 is to be an elective course, and so perhaps only a small minority of students is likely to take it, and presumably Independent Schools will not have to offer it.    Surely, though, we should be concerned about the propagandizing of any sector of the student body.  And, judging by what pro-homosexuality activists have produced so far, a course produced to conform to these activists’ desires is indeed likely to be propagandizing in nature.

The main concern of parents, surely, is the proposed revision of all courses to conform to the demands of the pro-homosexuality lobby.   There is something seriously wrong if parents do not respond in a body to register their protests with the British Columbia Ministry of Education over the unprecedented step it has taken in allowing an unprecedented role for two activists in shaping the educational environment of all British Columbia students in public schools, and—we believe—in all schools using the provincial curriculum.

Some years ago I gave the following picture during a talk to a pro-life, pro-family group.  Unfortunately, the imaginary journey through a school seems to be coming true in an all-too-literal fashion.  The imaginary journey went as follows:

“Please allow me to walk you through a day in an imaginary school.  . . . . Imagine for a moment, John and Jane, two high-school students who attend school in the future brave new world of social engineering . . . . . .A day at Margaret Sangers High School might start out with English class, where the class is introduced to Earl Birney’s poem “David,” in which an injured mountain climber is ‘mercifully’ pushed over a cliff by his companion.  The lesson is the perfect setting for a representative of the local right-to-die association to come in and give ‘relevance’ to the poem.  The next period might be Career and Personal Planning, where students look at the options for reproductive or non-reproductive choices.  Abstinence may be mentioned, but in a very cursory manner.  The main emphasis will be on the avoidance of the results of pre-marital sex:  the condom, the pill, and—in this land of free choice—abortion.  The third period of the morning is science.  Here the student is exposed to the marvels that have resulted from experiments on human embryos, and the hope for the bettering of the human race:  the hope, in effect, of creating a Superman—or rather Superperson.

“After lunch, our students of the future attend a mathematics class.  Here the familiar lesson in pure mathematics is preceded by a short introduction telling of the brilliant work done by a homosexual mathematician.  (Teachers had not thought it necessary to mention his sexual orientation prior to the introduction of the new, humanistically inclusive mathematics program.)  Finally, we may imagine John and Jane in social studies class, at the end of the day, where the students are in their second week of a unit on the history of homosexual rights.  Today the lesson is on the right to adoption, and the splendid environment that may be provided by homosexual couples for their adopted children. 

“A little far-fetched, you may say [remember this talk was given some years ago]; and it may be unlikely that a single day would see students encounter so many radical topics.  But it is entirely likely that, in the not-so-distant future, in the course of part of a year, all the above topics and more of the same may be encountered.”

So much for an imagined future for education.  The point is that education is threatened by the attempts of activists on many fronts to shape the education of the young.  The present apparently successful coup by Corren and Corren has to have been one of the boldest of such actions.  It is one that, if allowed to stand, will, we may confidently predict, affect the education of practically all students in the province, and set an unfortunate, even tragic, example for the rest of Canada .

We urge all those who care about the children and youth of British Columbia to write to the Premier, the Minister of Education, the Attorney General, and your local Member of the Legislature.  We would appreciate your letting us know that you have taken action.  If you don’t mind, please send us a copy of your letter; and if you receive an answer, a copy of the reply you receive.

Ted Hewlett
June, 2006

The Corren Settlement Agreement:  How Did We Arrive at This Point and What Should Parents of Traditional Morality and Their Supporters Do About It?

(This talk was given in Abbotsford , BC , in June, 2007, by Ted Hewlett, President of British Columbia Parents and Teachers for Life.  The written form given here is somewhat longer than the oral presentation.)

 

1. Background:  How Did We Arrive at This Point?

 

          The Corren Settlement Agreement gives two private citizens a special role in the review of educational curriculum.  Not only are Murray and Peter Corren given an extraordinary role, but so are any organizations and groups which they name as having “ . . . expertise in sexual orientation, homophobia and other issues of inclusion and diversity in the curriculum.”  The Ministry has promised to “. . . solicit feedback directly from these organizations and groups regarding the IRP (that is program of study) Response Drafts when each Response Draft is posted on the Ministry’s website.  While the Ministry is to consider comments from other organizations and groups, the Correns are the only ones who are legally guaranteed that those they name will have their suggestions considered.  This is true for all courses, from kindergarten to Grade Twelve, not just for one course.1 

            How did we arrive at the point where two pro-homosexuality activists were given such a special role by government?  Well, it didn’t happen overnight, or without warning  On February 11, 1997, Murray Warren, as he was then known, made a presentation to Coquitlam school trustees.   In his presentation he indicated his overall aims when he said:  “Nowhere in the curriculum are the many and significant contributions of lesbian and gay people, living and dead, acknowledged.  Our school libraries are devoid of resources that positively affirm the achievements of gay and lesbian people in the arts, in literature, science, medicine, social sciences, politics, and in every other sphere of endeavor.”

            That presentation to the Coquitlam School Board was a wake-up call.  In the years following, we in British Columbia Parents and Teachers for Life became more aware of the extent of pro-homosexuality propaganda planned for the schools, and sought to warn parents about it.

            Just a few days before Christmas, 2002, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down its verdict in the so-called “Surrey Gay Books Case.”  In her judgement the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada found against the Surrey School Board for failing to approve as teaching material certain books promoted by homosexual activists.2

            It is relevant to point out that Murray Warren was one of the petitioners in this “book case” against the Surrey School Board.  It was also Murray Warren and his partner, Peter Cook, who brought the case before the BC Human Rights Tribunal in which they alleged that the Ministry of Education had failed to make the B.C. curriculum inclusive of positive and accurate portrayals of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered students and same-sex families.  Rather than have this case continue, the BC government signed the Settlement Agreement which we are considering tonight.  Unfortunately, in my opinion, the united front which we should have had against this agreement did not develop. 

            Of course, we have had all sorts of indications—besides the actions of the Correns--of the directions pro-homosexuality propagandists are taking.  The case of Dr. Chris Kempling ought to be instructive.  This Christian psychologist, teacher and school counsellor of Quesnel, BC, has been harried through the courts and penalized for nothing more than voicing, as a citizen, his warnings against the pro-homosexuality propaganda being promoted in the schools. Now he has been silenced, forbidden to speak out on the matter of pro-homosexuality propaganda in the schools.  And after what happened to Chris, it is unlikely that we can depend on teachers to inform parents about what is going on in the schools.  Schools have become, in part, secret societies where activities go on that are not open to examination by the public.

            Gay-Straight Alliances have gradually increased in number in the schools of British Columbia , largely unnoticed by parents, it would seem.  Not only is a favourable view of homosexual behaviour conveyed, but students are propagandized to become activists and taught to regard as oppressive those churches which fail to approve of such behaviour.

            The approval of same-sex marriage (so-called) in Canada has enormously increased the pressure on the schools to convey a message that such homosexual unions are equivalent to traditional marriages.

Where do British Columbia parents now stand as regards the Corren Settlement Agreement?    In the public school system nothing guarantees students any safety from pro-homosexuality propaganda.  We are still hopeful, however, that sane and rational voices will be listened to.  There is reason to think that the provincial government, while unable or unwilling to formally allow others the same guaranteed input that the Correns had, may be cautious in flying in the face of a considerable body of parents and their allies who are concerned about the Corren Agreement.  The more input concerned parents and their supporters demand, the more likelihood there is that the plans of the Correns will not be completely carried to fruition.   But parents of traditional morality, and parents who for medical reasons are concerned about the pro-homosexuality program, will do well to be extremely wary.

Education Minister Shirley Bond has sent a letter assuring independent schools that they are not subject to the provisions of the Corren Settlement Agreement.  They are thus apparently protected for the time being.   We cannot, though, preclude possible lawsuits from pro-homosexuality activists that might challenge the protection afforded by independent schools.  Homeschooled students, of course, are protected as long as homeschooling is protected by our laws, in contrast to what is happening in Germany , where homeschooling is not allowed.

  

2. What Should Parents of Traditional Morality and Their Supporters Do About the Corren Settlement Agreement?

 

All that has been said so far has been said to call attention to a serious threat to the children and youth of our society.   If children in the schools are taught to accept as normal, behaviour that their parents consider as immoral or dangerous or both, what can those parents and their supporters do about the situation?

It is useful to consider this question in two parts:  What can parents do to protect their own children, and what can we do to protect education in general?  We all have responsibilities to those closest to us, and, as citizens, we also have responsibilities to our fellow-citizens which we should not ignore.

Parents can no longer take for granted—if they ever could-- that the schools their children attend are safe.  Now, more than ever, it is necessary for parents to be involved in the schools.  In spite of the fact that there are countless dedicated teachers in the public school system, we cannot close our eyes to the fact that there are forces seeking to use the schools to promote their own ideologies in radical opposition to the life-views of parents of traditional morality.

First of all, parents must know the school that their children attend. For busy parents this is not easy.  Parents need to know the teachers, and the teachers can change from year to year.  Parents need to know the principal and vice-principal, and these can change too.  In a large school, and particularly in a secondary school where your child can have many teachers in a given year, it may be almost impossible to get to know each teacher in a meaningful way.

Parents need to know the philosophy of the school.  This is difficult in the case of a public school, because there may be no consistent philosophy regarding the treatment of the most important life issues.

BC Parents and Teachers for Life, in an effort to help parents in their efforts to protect their children, has issued a “Parents’ Directive Regarding the Education of Their Children.”  We think that this document is written in respectful terms yet is firm in stating the parents' wishes.  Others have written similar documents.  We present this as reflective of issues we feel parents should be concerned about.

           This document when sent to the school does not come from British Columbia Parents and Teachers for Life.  It is only of value if it is recognized as coming from the parents who deliver it.    We are happy to share this document with parents who request it.

           I would encourage parents to write, as the Catholic Civil Rights League has done,3   seeking assurances that students will not be penalized if their parents keep them home when certain sensitive topics (ones which are likely to be used to propagandize) are discussed in class.  Of course, parents will also need assurance that prior notice is given them before the discussion of such topics.

            Though no-one else has been given the guaranteed input that the Correns have been given, there is an opportunity on a government website for the review of draft courses as they are released to the public.  Individuals and organizations can also request direct notification when draft curricula and other documents are posted for public review.  The e-mail address you can use to send in your regular or e-mail address if you request such notification is EDUC.Achievement@gov.bc.ca  .  BCPTL has sent in its address, and would be happy to hear of any others who have done so.  Perhaps you would like to work with us on the review of draft IRPs for courses.

 Inevitably many parents will choose independent schools, many of them faith-based schools.  So far, independent schools receiving grants from the province may be allowed to continue to teach in a manner consistent with the faith of parents and supporting churches.  They may be allowed to ignore any sections of the curriculum devoted to affirming the validity of life-styles to which parents are opposed.

Enrolling students in independent schools does not absolve the parents of their obligation to know their schools.  Here too it is necessary to be alert to what is being taught.  As always, this does not mean being a busybody.  It does mean exercising your parental right to know the nature of your child’s education.

So far, home-schooling is an option in British Columbia .  Parents have a great deal of freedom to choose the form that home-schooling takes, whether it is organized by the parents individually, or through a purchased program—or by distributed learning, or correspondence, which can come from the Ministry of Education.  Home-schooling naturally offers the greatest opportunity for the parent to know what is taught to the students.  Before venturing into home-schooling, however, parents should count the cost.  If your child is not to be deprived of important components of education, you need to make sure you have the ablility and the resources of time to function as a teacher or guide in your child’s schooling.   You need to also make sure your child has sufficient opportunities for social interaction with others. 

So far, home-schooling is remarkably free of government restraints.  Looming on the horizon, however, is the possibility that this freedom may not endure.  Could we come to the situation in Germany where children have been taken from their parents beause those parents chose to home-school them?  Watchfulness is needed to ensure that our freedoms remain.  I think, too, that parents who home-school must be careful to keep up the standards of their children’s education, not only for the sake of the children, but to make sure that no reason or excuse is given for curtailing the right to home-schooling.

What is our responsibility as citizens?  Surely we do have a responsibility to our neighbours, including to our neighbours’ children.   Even if thousands of parents remove their children from public schools, many thousands will leave their children in the system, and many thousands of students can still be subjected to pro-homosexuality propaganda. 

 The fact that large numbers of children are being removed from the public-school system and either put in independent schools or home-schooled has probably led to the loss of large numbers of parents who would otherwise be active in seeking to protect the public-school system.  I am not suggesting that children be left in dangerous situations simply to attempt to protect the school-system.  Adults, not children, should be the foot-soldiers in the struggle to save the public schools. I am going to suggest that parents who choose methods of education other than the public schools still have a responsibility to those schools.  We are all taxpayers and citizens.   We have the privilege of voting, and the responsibility vote thoughtfully.  We need to ask those seeking election as school board members and MLAs to make written commitments as to what sorts of measures they will support if they gain office.   Whispered promises are not a substitute for firm written commitments.   Too often those who are pro-life and pro-family have voted for candidates who claimed to support their views, only to find that the support never materialized once the candidate was elected.

 

What of the Corren Settlement Agreement?  Can nothing be done to change or mitigate the provisions of that agreement?   Thankfully, there are things we can do.   First of all, each of us can write to the provincial government protesting its unwarranted action in giving a special role to the two activists involved in the Corren Agreement.    We can show that we are constructive people by suggesting positive principles that should guide the government’s actions.   Some positive principles were suggested in a statement drawn up in September of 2006 by a number of groups, including British Columbia Parents and Teachers for Life.  We would be glad to share that document.4

 

            It is regrettable that there is no easy way to ensure that the schools are not used for propagandizing on behalf of pro-homosexual activists.  But there is no easy way to ensure the protection of our children and youth.  Parents and their supporters must be vigilant and active if the present perilous state of things is to be remedied.   For too long the warning signs have been ignored.  Only if we are aware of the danger to children and youth and willing to act-- only then will we be fulfilling our duty to the next generation.

 

Endnotes:

1 Settlement Agreement between Murray Corren and Peter Corren and Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of British  Columbia as represented by the Ministry of Education [Settlement Agreement], April 28, 2006, Section 2B.

 In the case of the Social Justice 12 course the Correns and “experts” chosen by them get to review the draft before it is released to the public, and the public will only see the version that has had “appropriate” revisions made after the Correns have made their comments. (Settlement Agreement, 3A).

 

2   Chamberlain v. Surrey School District

While paying lip-service to the rights of parents to be involved in their children's education, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court wrote: " . . . although parental involvement is important, it cannot come at the expense of respect for the values and practices of all members of the school community."

            It seems almost incredible that the learned judge actually said that school-board policy must respect the values and practices of all members of the school community. Logically, this means we must accept not only Asha Has Two Moms (one of the pro-homosexuality books in question), but Asha Has Three Moms, and Asha's Mom is Her Aunt--and so on, where not only polygamy, but relationships of incest would be held up as legitimate foundations for the family.
            In one matter the judge was obviously deadly serious: Schools must give “families” based on homosexual relationships the same official respect as traditional families. And children must be taught to respect such families. It did not matter that some parents believe that such relationships are immoral. Their rights were to be superseded by the rights of homosexual couples to have their “family” groupings officially approved.

 

 

 

3 Sean Murphy of the Catholic Civil Rights League has written to every school district in British Columbia , with the result that many districts have committed to allowing parents to withdraw their children from class when sensitive issues are being dealt with.   This is good news, but it depends on parents having the boldness to take this action, and also on parents being notified beforehand when such topics are about to be covered (which would require preventing the "teachable moment" being used to cover such topics.

 

4  (Among the other groups whose representatives agreed to the statement were REAL Women of British Columbia, Christian Social Fellowship, Catholic Civil Rights League, and Christian Coalition.)  The positive principles they agreed to were the following:

 “1. We affirm our common desire to see established within the schools of British Columbia an atmosphere in which harassment or abusive conduct directed at any student is not acceptable, regardless of their actual or apparent association or identification with any group.


“2. Access to the means of influencing the development of curriculum for all subjects in British Columbia public schools should be open to all citizens without discrimination.  No special rights of access or influence should be given to particular private citizens or groups.

“3. Parents have the right to educate children in conformity with their moral and religious convictions. Public schools must be transparent and accountable to parents about what is taught to students. Teaching materials should be open to examination by parents, and particular care should be taken that parents are directly advised, well in advance, when sexuality or other controversial or sensitive topics are to be discussed.

 

“4. Nothing in the curriculum or practice of British Columbia public schools should denigrate the legally protected moral and religious beliefs of parents and children.” Immediately below the list of principles is repeated for convenience in downloading them separately.  As well, a list is given of ways in which these  principles could be used to remedy the injustices of the Corren Settlement Agreement.

 

--XXX--

A Statement of Principles of Fairness for Students and Parents 
and of How They Can be Used to Remedy the Injustices of the Corren Settlement Agreement

 

Principles

 

1.  We affirm our common desire to see established within the schools of British Columbia an atmosphere in which harassment or abusive conduct directed at any student is not acceptable, regardless of their actual or apparent association or identification with any group.

 

2. Access to the means of influencing the development of curriculum for all subjects in British Columbia public schools should be equally open to all groups of parents and interested citizens.  No special rights of access or influence should be given to particular private citizens.

 

“Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.  Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms 15 (1)

 

3. Public schools should be open with parents about what they teach students.  Teaching materials should be open to examination by parents, and particular care should be taken that parents are directly advised, well in advance, when sexual activity or another controversial or sensitive topic is to be discussed.

“The best interests of the child shall be the guiding principle of those responsible for his education and guidance; that responsibility lies in the first place with his parents.” 
From the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child, Principle 7

4.Nothing in the curriculum or practice of British Columbia public schools should denigrate the beliefs that marriage can only take place between a man and woman, and that sexual activity should only take place between a husband and wife.  

 

 

5. For topics which their children or they feel more comfortable having dealt with in a different setting, parents of students in all school districts should be able to make arrangements for "alternative delivery" (in a manner and time and place of the parents' choosing) of teaching that respects the individual differences and needs of their children.


How the above principles can be used to remedy the injustices of the Corren Settlement Agreement

 Preamble:  The Corren Settlement Agreement is a dangerous precedent that introduces an unprecedented level of unfairness into the curriculum review process.  The agreement has created a situation of unfairness by giving 'privileged' procedural access to the Correns and we request that 'equity' be re-established by giving equal access to parents and other educational stakeholders.  We request that the Minister take an inclusive view of the agreement and extend full consultation to parents and others to reestablish equality of access.

 

      1.   New Internal Review Guidelines for the development of IRPs (“Integrated
            Resource Packages”) must be drawn up with input welcomed not merely from the
            Correns and organizations they name as experts, but from all interested parties.

      2.   Similarly, input from all interested parties should be welcomed in finalizing each
             IRP.

      3.    The Social Justice 12 Course provided for in Section 3 of the Corren Settlement
             Agreement should be accepted but only if both the process of creating the course
             and the content of the course are balanced and inclusive, especially with respect
             to Article 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including attention to
             avoiding discrimination on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour,
             religion, sex, age, and mental and physical disability.  We submit that the
             process now being followed for creating the Social Justice 12 course is
             discriminatory in that it does not include people qualified to adequately address
             all these issues while it gives privilege to the Correns.   Input from all interested
             parties should be welcomed in creating this course, and at all stages the
             development of this course should be open to parents and the public in general.

     4.     Delivery guidelines to assist teachers in delivering the Kindergarten to Grade
             Twelve curriculum should be developed openly, and with no special status given
              to the Correns.

     5.      For topics which their children or they feel more comfortable having dealt with
              in a different setting, parents of students in all school districts should be able to
              make arrangements for "alternative delivery" (in a manner and time and place of
              the parents' choosing) of teaching that respects the individual differences and
              needs of their children.  The government must recognize the injustice of not
              allowing “alternative delivery” in those subject areas where parents feel they
              or their children would be  more comfortable having sensitive topics dealt with
              in this way.  Section 1 of the Settlement Agreement must be eliminated.   The
              government needs to urge that the Correns agree to this, making use of the
              provision for change in the Settlement by mutual consent.

     6.      Any further changes in matters covered in the Corren Settlement should be
              arrived at by a regular governmental process in a manner authorized by the
              legislature and subject to alteration by that body.

    7.       The Ministry of Education should send out a letter to School Superintendents
              Boards of School Trustees affirming the rights of parents and stating a policy of
              openness in the development of curriculum reflecting the principles stated, and
              spelling out procedures that reflect that openness.

 

An Analysis of Some Aspects of the Social Justice Twelve Course
as approved by the British Columbia Ministry of Education

The Social Justice Twelve Course is one striking illustration of the Education Ministry’s lack of positive response to the concerns so many have expressed about the Corren Settlement Agreement and its results.

In the first place, this unresponsiveness was shown in the way in which the draft curriculum for the new Social Justice Twelve course was released.The Settlement Agreement with the Correns1 states: “Prior to release of the Social Justice 12 Response Draft for public review and response, the Respondent [the Ministry] will provide the Complainants [the Correns] with a draft of the sexual orientation/gender identity portion for their review, and will make revisions as appropriate in light of the comments received.  The Complainants may consult experts, on a confidential basis, to assist them in providing such comment.” We note the fact that this consultation with the Correns was to take place before the draft course was released to the general public.  (Settlement Agreement, Section 3A)

 Though a pilot version of the new course was to be completed on or before June 30, 2007, the draft program or draft “Integrated Resource Package” (IRP) for the course was withheld from public review till August 1, 2007.  This was in spite of the fact that the draft course was to be used as a pilot course the next month.  This late release in the summer of 2007 meant that already in September of 2007 some students would be exposed to this course before those who might be critical of the course had a proper chance to review it and ask for changes.

When we looked at the draft course, the first startling fact we noted was that it failed to include information on recommended learning resources for the course.    In fact, we were told that these would not be available until the final publication of the IRP.  In other words, the general public had no input into the selection of recommended learning resources, in contrast of course to the role of the Correns.  Since the nature of recommended learning resources can, to a large extent, determine the nature of the course, this means that the general public was excluded from providing input regarding a very important aspect of the course.

An examination of the approved Social Justice 12 course now published reveals that grave concerns about the course which were expressed following the release of the draft course are still justified. 

It may be important to note that this is an elective course so far, but this does not mean that we should be unconcerned about it.  The nature of the course, as we shall see, is such that it lends itself readily to the introduction of propaganda, and this indoctrination could create a cadre of  student activists who in turn could influence a whole school.

Under “Considerations for Program Delivery,” on page 16 of the approved IRP for Social Justice 12, we read this curious sentence: 
Ensure students are aware that their parents may have access to the schoolwork they create only insofar as it pertains to students’ progress.”  We cannot help but wonder, "What does this mean?"  Does this mean that certain assignments (given though not counted for assessment) are to be kept secret from parents?  If so, what type of assignments would they be?

On page 21 of the approved IRP, under “Prescribed Learning Outcomes,” we read:  Prescribed learning outcomes are content standards for the provincial education system; they are the prescribed curriculum.  Clearly stated and expressed in measurable and observable terms, Prescribed Learning Outcomes set out the required attitudes, skills, and knowledge – what students are expected to know and be able to do – by the end of the specified course.”   We should note that not only are measurable and observable skills and knowledge prescribed, but attitudes as well.  Students, then, are expected to have certain attitudes.  What attitudes are these, and what are the consequences for those students who fail to develop them and thus fail in this respect to have the prescribed learning outcomes?

Under “Student Achievement: Key Elements,” in the subsection  “Defining Social Justice, “ the following is given in the set of indicators which may be used to assess student achievement:  “Students who have fully met the Prescribed Learning Outcomes are able to identify and define a range of concepts and terms of social justice (e.g., ableism, ageism, anthropocentrism, colonialism, consumerism, cultural imperialism, dignity, discrimination, diversity, economic imperialism, economic liberalization, empowerment, equality, equity, ethics, extremism, fairness, feminism, fundamentalism, genocide, globalization, hate crime, hegemony, heterosexism, homophobia, human rights, humanitarianism, humility, inclusion, individual responsibility, marginalization, misogyny, oppression, peace, persecution, power, prejudice, privilege, racism, sexism, speciesism, stereotype, stewardship, systemic, transformational leadership, truth, value, worth.)”  (p. 34)

It is worthwhile to examine the definition of these terms in the “Glossary” which accompanies this curriculum (on pages 49-54).  (There was no glossary in the draft version of Social Justice 12.)  According to this glossary, “diversity refers to the ways in which people within a society differ from each other.  Some of these differences may be visible (e.g., race, ethnicity, sex, age, ability), while others are less visible (e.g., culture, ancestry, language, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background).  Honouring diversity is based on the principle that, if these differences are acknowledged and utilized in a positive way, it is of benefit to the quality of life for all in society.”  

We would agree that many differences can be “acknowledged and utilized in a positive way,” but there is surely a danger in not recognizing that some characteristics may actually be harmful and not capable of being so utilized.

In the definition of “homophobia” we read that homophobia is: 
 “a fear, dislike, or hatred of homosexuality or homosexuals, or of people or behaviours perceived to be homosexual.”  We are further informed that  “Homophobia manifests itself as prejudice, discrimination, harassment, and/or acts of violence. Homophobia can exist at personal, institutional, and societal levels. Also transphobia: fear, dislike, or hatred of transgendered or transsexual people. See also heterosexism.”   Here we have adopted the usual stereotype used by pro-homosexuality activists that those disliking homosexuality will demonstrate “prejudice, discrimination, harassment, and/or acts of violence.”  “Heterosexism” is defined as “the assumption that heterosexual orientation is better than other sexual orientations and therefore deserving of public acceptance and legal privilege.”

The term “two-spirited” is listed as “a modern term for a traditional North American Aboriginal concept implying a masculine spirit and a feminine spirit in the same body. Two-spirited individuals were found in many, if not most, pre-contact Aboriginal communities, and played important societal roles within communities. There are terms for these individuals in the various North American Aboriginal languages, and their social function varied from nation to nation. In present-day parlance, two-spirited is also used to refer to gay, lesbian, and bisexual Aboriginal people.”  (The authority for the statements about pre-contact aboriginal communities is not given.)

 It is only fair to say that many of the other definitions in the glossary are unobjectionable.  When matters of sexual orientation are defined, however, we can see the distorting influence of the Corren Agreement.

Under the heading  “Recognizing and Analysing Social Injustice” (p. 40), a suggested achievement indicator is that students should be able to “apply principles of social justice to analyse specific historical and contemporary examples of injustice in Canada related to . . . people who are LGBT (e.g., criminalization, institutionalization, marriage, adoption, employment discrimination, spousal rights, immigration, censorship, hate crimes, school safety).”  Here it becomes obvious that the until-recent limitation of the official use of the term “marriage” to male-female unions is to be regarded as an injustice, as is the denial of adoption rights to homosexuals.    Will students be expected to also regard as unjust, religious teachings which limit marriage to the union of man and woman?

In the subsection on “Recognizing and Analyzing Injustice” (pp. 24-25), we are told that one of the prescribed learning outcomes is that students will be expected to describe social injustice based on certain characteristics.    These characteristics are to include age, marital or family status, mental or physical ability, nationality or "rationality," political affiliation, race and ethnicity, religion and faith, sex, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. (p. 23).  While the list is suggestive of many topics worthy of consideration by students, one wonders what descriptions of social injustice in certain of these categories will be considered acceptable.  For example, will a student be expected to describe same-sex marriage as a move towards justice when discussing marital status and sexual orientation?  Such questions become particularly relevant when we read (on Page 40) that students will be expected to apply principles of social justice to analyze specific historical and contemporary examples of injustice in Canada related to . . . people who are LGBT (e.g., criminalization, institutionalization, marriage, adoption, employment discrimination, spousal rights, immigration, censorship, hate crimes, school safety)”  (emphasis supplied by the present writer).    On Page 41 we are told that students should be able to “identify legislation and public policies that relate to human rights in Canada”  and an example of legislation given in the Civil Marriage Act.

This would certainly indicate that students are expected to regard as an injustice the limitation of the legal definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples:  a definition only recently jettisoned.

Serious questions arise regarding the many concepts that may be inculcated in this course and regarding the attitudes students are expected to adopt when we consider that students are to be expected to “analyze the social justice implications of legislation, public policy, and other forms of government action in Canada with specific reference to . . . ”  (and among the legislation included is the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the BC Human Rights Code, and the Civil Marriage Act), the.Human  Rights Code, and the Civil Marriage Act).

Students will also be expected to assess the contributions of particular individuals and groups who are identified with struggles for social justice.   What individuals and groups will they be expected to assess the contributions of?  After all, those whom some would regard as identified with a struggle for social justice others will regard as working for social injustice.  While practically all in our society might regard Wilberforce as an example of someone working for social justice (the abolition of the slave trade and of slavery), others would be much more controversial.  For example, pro-abortion supporters would regard Morgentaler as having worked for social justice, but pro-lifers would regard his work as a source of grave injustice.

Since, as we have seen, the prescribed learning outcomes include attitudes, what is to be the fate of the student who does not share the teacher’s attitude toward particular concepts of social justice?   Such a student may find his or her achievement is rated low at the end of the course, unless he has changed his attitude under peer or teacher pressure during the year.

Although the Social Justice 12 course as outlined in the approved IRP will deal with many topics worthy of students’ consideration, it is, due to bias and lack of specified direction, a course which allows for the possibility of gross abuse on the part of the teacher who might choose to use it to propagandize for his own particular viewpoint.   We have not had the time or resources to examine these learning resources for this course, but the process by which they were added without being open to criticism from the public leads to the possibility that they could, combined with the prejudice of a teacher who acts as a propagandist, result in a course that distorts the whole consideration of social justice in the services of a radical agenda,

E. S. (Ted) Hewlett
October, 2008

 Endnotes:

Page numbers given in the text of this essay are those used at the bottom of pages in the Social Justice 12 IRP online at
http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/irp/social_justice12/sj12irp2008.pdf  .

(URLs for website pages were as of October, 2008)

 1 Settlement Agreement between Murray Corren and Peter Corren (Complainants) and Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of British Columbia as represented by the Ministry of Education (Respondent).  The Agreement was signed on April 8, 2006.  A copy can be viewed at
http://www.bcptl.org/corren_settlement_agreement.htm#agreement  .

 2  at http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/irp/social_justice12/sj12irp2008.pdf

 

An Analysis of Some Aspects of the Provincially-Approved Teachers’ Guide Making Space: Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice throughout the K-12 Curriculum

“First a ripple, then a wave” —to borrow a phrase from an old commercial.  The release of the elective Social Justice 12 Draft Course may have been considered a ripple:  a minor result of the Corren Settlement Agreement, having the potential to directly affect only a few students (though its indirect effects have the potential to be much greater).

Now, with the publishing of the approved teachers’ guide Making Space, we see the first wave resulting from this same agreement, which gave two pro-homosexuality activists a special role as prior advisors regarding all provincial curricula before they are released to the general public.  Making Space, we are told,  is designed to help K-12 teachers in virtually every subject area find ways to promote awareness and understanding of the diversity that exists within our society . . . , 1  The statement indicates the intention of its authors to affect the whole school curriculum.   Promoting awareness and understanding of the diversity that exists within our society sounds like a laudable aim, but we need to ask, “Just what kind of awareness and what sort of understanding does this document encourage?”

Among the differences students should be concerned with according to Making Space  (or Teachers’ Guide) are those of religious beliefs, sexual orientation, and gender identity.2   So we see that some of the topics for consideration are delicate, and we need to examine how they are likely to be treated by a teacher following the promptings of the Guide.   The researcher who is familiar with the use of the term “diversity” by various activists will want to inquire just how wide-ranging the diversity is that will be studied and what attitudes the teacher is expected to inculcate in the process of leading students in such a study.

There is no denying that some of the aims of the Guide are desirable:  for example, “to ensure that differences among learners do not impede their participation in school, their achievement of prescribed learning outcomes, or their capacity to become contributing members of society.3  But any positive aspects should not blind us to the way in which the guide empowers the would-be propagandist in the classroom. 

 The Guide provides the teacher with a “rating instrument” entitled “Self-Assessment: How I Address Diversity and Social Justice in my Teaching Practice.” 4    One of the statements this rating instrument provides for the teacher to use as a means of evaluating his teaching practice is this one:  “The guest speakers and visitors that form part of my instruction reflect the diversity within the local community.”   This is in keeping with another criterion given:  “My classroom activities [are] designed to promote social justice address and are inclusive of all forms of diversity (visible and less visible).”   One can readily see the advantages of students being exposed to racial diversity when that is relevant.  But the idea that classroom activities and guest speakers should reflect all forms of diversity found within a community poses a problem.   Are all forms of diversity really to be represented?  Surely not the diversity represented by those advocating the free use of recreational drugs, for example.   It is unlikely that the authors of Making Space had such advocates in mind, but if the reader is familiar with the practice of bringing in speakers to reflect diversity in sexual orientation, he can readily see one likely effect of the policy of having speakers reflect all forms of community diversity.   

One of the statements contained in the “ranking instrument” seems to suggest that the teacher’s value as a teacher may depend on his outside activities (ironical in light of the treatment meted out to Dr. Chris Kempling for his outside activities).   The sentence is: “I support various national and international initiatives that promote diversity and social justice (e.g., International Women’s Day, International Day to Eliminate Racism, National Aboriginal Day, International Day of Disabled Persons, International Human Rights Day), and promote the activities planned within the school and district during that week [sic].”   This sentence provides, in effect, a criterion for a teacher’s likely effectiveness. 

While one may value a teacher’s participation in some of these activities, one questions whether it is a good idea to have a government document present such participation as a measure of a person’s suitability for teaching.  Also, we note that these are but examples.  Would participation include going to “gay pride” parades, which the school-sponsored clubs usually known as gay-straight alliances have encouraged students to attend?

We recognize the worth of promoting respect for individuals of widely varying kinds of diversity such as diversity of race or ability, for example.  Nevertheless, we know that teaching respect for diversity has been used as a cover for inculcating a favourable attitude towards harmful forms of diversity.  Principally we have seen, in recent years that it has been used to inculcate a favourable attitude towards sexual diversity in the form of homosexual activities.  So if our suspicions are aroused by the repeated use in the Guide of the term “homophobia,” for example, we believe that we are not showing paranoia but exercising our judgement in the light of what we know is being advocated in educational circles.

That these suspicions are justified is confirmed for us in the latter part of the document we are considering.  In “Appendix A: Learning Resources,” for Kindergarten to Grade 3, the document lists the book Asha’s Mums (infamous in British Columbia for its being promoted by pro-homosexuality activists in Surrey School District, an action that resulted in a Supreme Court of Canada case). 5   

The bias of the authors of this document shows clearly in the list of websites given as references.   The website addresses of “Status of Women Canada” is given, but no reference is given to any “REAL Women” website.   The Gay and Lesbian Educators of BC (GALEBC) website is given, but none for any group with opposing views.

 Throughout the document the Ministry of Education sidesteps acceptance of responsibility for their promotion of certain viewpoints and organizations in contrast to those of differing points of views.   Regarding the website resources the teacher is reminded:  “As with all supplementary resources, local approval is required before use with students...”  (This is an appropriate reminder in itself, but when combined with the bias shown towards certain points of view, the repeated use of such disclaimers amounts to an abdication of responsibility.)

 Sean Murphy shown admirable perception in writing the following 6   (Though it was written regarding the draft guide, his remarks may be applied also to the approved guide now published.):

            Despite the language used in Making Space, Giving Voice ("teaching diversity and social justice," 
           "performance standards," "expectations"), it is not part of the provincial curriculum, which is limited to what
           the Ministry of Education purports to define specifically in ‘learning outcomes.’ Thus, it does not direct
           schools or teachers about what must be taught in the classroom. As its subtitles
           indicate, it is only a guide. From the perspective of the Ministry of Education, this is probably a convenient
           arrangement for several reasons.

First of all, while Making Space, Giving Voice conforms to the requirements of the Corren Agreement, the Minister can still assure parents that the curriculum is not being changed, even as her Ministry advises teachers to use lessons in other subjects to "[further] a social justice agenda."

Second, the document provides a licence for teachers with a particular "social justice agenda" to impose it on their students, but does not require anything of others. This satisfies the Correns et al without the risk of generating opposition from teachers who do not agree with them . . . .

Within state schools (or compliant independent schools), Making Space, Giving Voice could be used as a basis for the legal and professional persecution of teachers who, in whole or in part, reject the Correns’ agenda for their students. A department head could impose it as a standard to be applied in teacher evaluations, threatening opportunities for advancement by those unwilling to inculcate approval of homosexual conduct and relationships. Activist teachers sharing the Correns’ agenda (or others) can cite Making Space, Giving Voice to pressure colleagues, department heads and administrators, and to overawe, mislead or intimidate parents who challenge them, but who are not aware of the distinction between prescribed curriculum and a teachers’ guide.

The course of action the Ministry of Education has taken may be legally clever, but it should not blind citizens to the fact that it has produced a document which, if adopted, is capable of exercising tremendous power in enabling activists to use the schools of British Columbia for propaganda purposes.

In spite of the innocuous or even commendable elements in Making Space, this document can be compared to an angel-food cake with poison pills.  The public may be impressed by the innocuous or desirable elements in the Guide, but for students the indoctrination promoted in it could result in their ingesting harmful doses of dangerous propaganda. 

 

E.S. (Ted) Hewlett
British Columbia Parents and Teachers for Life

 

Endnotes:

1 Making Space: Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice throughout the K-12 Curriculum:  “Introduction and Context: Background and Rationale,” P. 3  online.  Links to the various sections of the guide are given at:  http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/irp/program_delivery/ss.htm   .

2 Ibid., P. 3
3 Ibid., P. 4

4 Making Space , Pp. 7-8

5 For a comment on this case see:  http://www.bcptl.org/gay.htm#Landolt

6  The quotation following is from Sean Murphy of the Catholic Civil Rights League, from a draft section of a review that was shared during an exchange of views about Making Space, Giving Voice.  (A footnote given in his draft is omitted from the quotation.)   Readers may contact Mr. Murphy by e-mailing him at ccrl-west@shaw.ca  for the complete and final version of his review.

 


 

 

Parents' Directive Regarding the Education of Their Children

BCPTL has frequently drawn attention to  the necessity of parents taking steps to protect their children in the schools, given the attempts to propagate harmful propaganda in the school system.  British Columbia Parents and Teachers for Life is offering what we think may be of some help:  a "Parents' Directive Regarding the Education of Their Children," a document which parents can deliver to the school making clear their wishes with regards to the education of their children.   We think that this document is written in respectful terms yet is firm in stating the parents' wishes.  We do not take credit for the idea.  Others have written similar documents.  We present this as reflective of issues we feel parents should be concerned about, and hopefully reflective of the tone which such a document should have.

         This document when sent to the school does not come from British Columbia Parents and Teachers for Life.  It is only of value if it is recognized as coming from the parents who deliver it.   Parents are responsible for the document when they use it.  British Columbia Parents and Teachers for Life cannot be responsible for its use, and our name should not be attached to it when it is sent as a parental directive.  

        Should you as a parent wish to change the document in any way, you are entitled to do so.  You may have other concerns which you wish to express, or you may wish to change it in some other way to suit your family's situation.   Of course we are not responsible for any changes made.  It would be well, in our view, to ensure that any changes retain a respectful tone and are carefully checked for wording before the document is delivered to your children's school.   The text of our suggested directive is given below and also on the "Help for Parents" page of this website.

 

Parents’ Directive Regarding the Education of Their Children

 

To the administrative authorities of _____________ School   in

 _______________ in the province of _____________________:

Regarding our children, namely:  ______________________________________


   We as parents are desirous of the welfare of our children in every aspect of their lives.  We are thankful for the positive opportunities for education which are available in our country, and for teachers in our schools who generously devote their time to teaching the children and youth of our nation.

   Conscious that parents are the first educators of their children and that they continue to bear a prime responsibility for their education, we are communicating the following statement of wishes regarding our children’s education.  We request that this statement be kept on file in the school to which we have entrusted our  children and that it be brought to the attention of all those teachers and other staff members who will be charged with dealing with our children..  We respectfully issue this statement as a legal directive to school authorities and personnel.

   Holding certain principles regarding the family as the basis for our own teaching of our child or children, we desire that those principles should in no way be undermined.  We hold as an ideal the concept of the family as founded on the life-long commitment of one man and one woman to one another in marriage and on their commitment to the welfare of their children.  Nothing taught to our children in the school should undermine respect for this principle.  The school should seek the welfare of all children entrusted to it and to the best of its ability protect all from harassment, but it shall in no way teach our children that concepts of the family diverging from our ideal are equal or superior to that ideal.

   We hold to the belief that human life is sacred from conception to natural death, and nothing taught to our child or children in the school should undermine respect for this principle.

   We as parents have signed two copies of this document as an indication of our wishes.  We request that you return one copy with the signature of the school principal as an indication of his or her having received the document.  We further request that any principal succeeding the present one shall likewise sign this document.

 

Dated this ____________ day of _______________, in the year ___________ at

_________________________ in the province of

 _________________________

 

Parents’ signatures: ________________________________________________

--XXX--

 


British Columbia Parents and Teachers for Life is happy to carry a petition, worded as follows on behalf of Parents for Democracy in Education.  Please copy and past this into a separate document, taking care to copy only the petition (including its title).  The petition sheets, after having been signed, should be sent to the address at the bottom of the sheet.

                                  Petition to the Legislature of British Columbia

To the Honourable the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, in 
Legislature Assembled:
             
We, the undersigned petitioners respectfully request that the Honourable House enact legislation to 
reassert that parents have the prime responsibility for the education of their children and to allow all citizens to 
have rights to review changes affecting what is taught in the schools, with no special rights to private citizens 
such as those conceded to in the Settlement Agreement with the Correns signed  in April of 2006.  

The petiton form can be found at www.bcptl.org/PDE.htm#petition    .

  Please turn in signed petition sheets by to  P.O. Box 8000 (No. 407), Abbotsford , BC   V2S 6H1

     


 

Some Ideas for Writing Letters Regarding the Corren Agreement

     (The following list of ideas and pointers as to wording was contributed by Doris Darvasi, President of REAL Women of British Columbia, and Deanna Fernandes, a member of the executive of British Columbia Parents and Teachers for Life.)

Letters to politicians and editors

Depending on who you are writing to, personalize your letter. E.g. “I am writing as a parent (grandparent) and am very concerned about (choose your concern from the points below).

  Letters on Corren Agreement:   

 a)      How does the Ministry of Education ensure that a student who expresses a different viewpoint is safe from  
   harassement?

b)      How much research has the Ministry of Education done regarding the health issues related to alternate sexual lifestyles?

c)      Has the M o E checked the Canada website regarding HIV/AIDS and STDs in regard to high-risk behaviour?

d)     How can the M o E ensure the safety of students if information on alternate sexual lifestyles is presented in a one-sided manner?

e)      Can the M o E please give us a definition of sexual orientation?

f)       In the BC School Act section….para….it states that ……. Why has the M o E gone in direct contravention of the Act by excluding parents from the process?

g)      Why has the M o E proceeded with the implementation of this revised curriculum in such a secret manner, bypassing the democratic process?

h)      Why does the M o E allow highly controversial and inaccurate information to be taught to students?

i        Why has the M o E allowed the special agreement between the Correns and the Ministry that denies the parents' the alienable right according to the BC School Act?

j) Why does the M o E allow School Districts to attempt to change the beliefs of students without their parents' consent?  The provisions of  any settlement arrangements must respect the constitutional rights of students.

k      How does the M o E ensure proper counseling for students who are confused about their sexuality in a way that ensures the safety and health of the child?

l      How will the M o E ensure that when the topic of sexual identity is being discussed, former homosexuals will be recognized?  (Reference:  www.exodus-international.org )

     How does the M o E ensure that students who want to leave an alternate live style, receive the appropriate counseling?

n      Why does the M o E allow the use of newly coined terms such as "homophobia" and "heterosexism" to denigrate and harass people who have a different opinion?

o      Why does the Ministry of Education foster discrimination by allowing one specific ideology in the public school system, to which all taxpayers are contributing, while disallowing any other worldviews. 

p)      The climate created by the Corren Agreement is designed to silence dissenting world views and label those families, students and staff as homophobic and heterosexist who respectfully express evidence based medical concerns associated with alternate sexual lifestyles.

q      The M o E has a duty to ensure an environment where dissenting views can be respectfully shared and exchanged. By favouring one group over another the …. creates conditions for much greater conflict in the school system.

r)        All sexual conduct is not equal. How will the M o E ensure that the public school system will be used to promote healthy living for our students rather than mislead them under the guise of equality or equity. Looking out for our children’s health, it is wise parenting. 

s)   Curriculum needs to be implemented in a manner that is safe – physically, psychologically, and
     spiritually for all students.

t)        Through the administration and implementation of programs coming out of the Corren Agreement, I am
      very concerned that the Ministry of Education  is driving a wedge between parents and children.

q)       
I strongly object to being called a “homophobe” and “heterosexist” for simply looking out for my child’s safety, health, and emotional and psychological well being. Why can’t we discuss the health risks related to alternate sexual behaviour the way we are open to discussing the health hazards of smoking?

r)         
Being labeled because they have deferring views about sexual health, is inappropriate. We have the right to have, and respectfully express, a different viewpoint. Any programs administered in schools need to ensure that different viewpoints can be voiced.

s)        
If we are not given the opportunity to openly discuss legitimate concerns for the formation, education, and safety of our children, then we truly fear for the future of our society

t)         
We are concerned that as schools spend so much time, money, and effort into implementing programs coming out of the Corren Agreement, it is increasingly taking away from the focus that parents want for their children – the attainment of academic achievement.

u)       
We agree that the school environment needs to be free of intimidation and bullying. This can be achieved through a well-planned anti-harassment program which incorporates documentation showing actual figures of harassment and measures taken to deal with these situations as they occur. An anti-harassment program should also include teaching children to teach others with respect even if they disagree with what others say or do.  


The list immediately following consists of a statement of ideas drawn up by Doris Darvasi, President of REAL Women of British Columbia, and Deanna Fernandes, a member of the executive of British Columbia Parents and Teachers for Life.

What Parents Can  Do in the Present Situation

a)      Be aware of what is happening in your child’s school and classroom.

b)      If you have a concern, meet with your child’s teacher and, if necessary, with the principal. Be very clear about your concerns.

a)      The "Parents' Directive Regarding the Education of Their Children" found above on this web-page is an excellent tool to assist you in your discussion if you are not sure where to begin. 

b)      Remember: please be reasonable and constructive despite of your feelings.

c)      Talk to other parents about your concerns and, if needed, go as a group to the principal. Make sure someone takes notes of what is transpiring during the meeting.

d)     Also, contact your school trustees and voice your concerns. You could also do this as a whole group of parents.

e)      Attend school board meetings as often as you can to establish a rapport with the trustees.

f)       Commend the trustees for what they are doing right.

g)      If you remain in the public school system, talk with your kids regularly to know what they are learning and if they are being indoctrinated into ideologies that are opposed to what you believe. Make sure you check out the sex education program at your child’s school. The following link will give you an idea of what is happening in certain parts of Canada    www.hamiltonfamilyaction.org/Sex_Education/sexedAug06.htm

h)      You need to be involved in the school itself. Parents that are actively involved with parent councils, or their equivalent, have a much stronger voice in the schools. They have more access to principals and teachers.

i)        If you continue to be concerned, go to an alternate method of schooling. j)        Should you choose private school for your child, make sure you continue to be involved and monitor what is going on.

k)      As all parents pay for public schools through their taxes, why aren’t they given the same opportunity for input into curriculum as the Correns? What gives the Correns the right to special privileges?

l)      Considering the health risk associated with high risk sexual behaviour, how will the M o E deal with liability issues that arise in the future?


 

 

 

 

 

Useful Links to Other Websites

We are, of course, not responsible for the content of external sites.  Listing of a site does not imply anything about our agreement or disagreement with particular  statements that may be made on such external sites.

Are you pregnant and need help?  
Help is available from these centres:   
Canada, US, UK, Ireland Pregnancy Centres: Click to find a centre in your area 
--or, in Canada or the US call 1-800-395-HELP

Abortion procedures and risks

Abortion: Stop the Cover-up

Association for Reformed PoliticalAction--Education

Campaign Life Coalition

Campaign Life Coalition BC

Canada Family Action Coalition

Canadian Constitution Foundation

CASJAFVA (Canadian  & Family Values Association)

Catholic Civil Rights Leag

Compasionate Healthcare Network

Contactmps.com

Courage Apostolate

Euthanasia.com

Evangelical Fellowship of Canada--Home Page

       EFC Social Issues

Exodus Youth

Family & Lifea 
(Ireland)

Family Policy Institute
of Washington

Focus on the Family: family.org

Focus on the Family Canada

Human Life Alliance

Humanrightscom-
missions.ca

Institute for Canadian Values

Kelowna Pro-Life

LifeSite

LifeCanada

MassResistance

Mission America

NARTH (National Association for Research & Therapy of Homo sexuality)

Parents for Democracy in Education

Priests for Life

Priests for Life Canada

Pro-Life Blogs

Pro-Life Canada Index

Pro-Life Corner

Pro-Life Kelowna

ProWoman ProLife.org

REAL Women of Canada

REAL Women of BC

Roadkill Radio

Silent No More

Socialconservatives.ca

Society for the Protection of Unborn Children  (UK-based)

Students for Life of America

TakeBackOurSchools.org

Take Back Canada

Teachers Saving Children

The Parents' Voice.org

True Tolerance

United Families International

Vivre dans la Dignité
  (Quebec-based;
  opposes euthanasia
  & assisted suicide)

World  Youth Alliance

 

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