Update on Alberta Law May 4, 2009

Update on Alberta Law

I mentioned yesterday how a draft law in Alberta, Canada could allow parents to remove children from classes when the topic (e.g. Evolution) contradicted religious beliefs.

Lindsay Blackett, the provincial minister responsible for human rights, says this is not going to be the case:

“This is opt-out on religious instruction not on grounds of religious beliefs. So the thought that somebody can get out of evolution using the fact that it’s against their religious beliefs is not correct,” he said. “Evolution is not a part of religious studies, it’s part of science curriculum, and there is nothing that will change that going forward.”

So that’s a plus.

Is sex education also impervious to religious parents who want to shield their kids from the truth?

And what’s the deal with Premier Ed Stelmach who suggested parents could pull their kids out of evolution education in the first place?

(Thanks to Jason for the link!)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Nicole C.

    I don’t know if sex-ed would fall under religion according to this. I know that when I was in junior-high sex-ed was taught in a “health” class, while religion was a seperate class altogether, and both were mandatory (it was a catholic school). Because of that, I can’t see taking students out of those classes being allowed for religious reasons. But then again, that might have just been my school.

  • Let them remove their children from education entirely. The intolerant, highly religious parents who do so will find themselves spending a lot more money on their child’s education or allowing the next generation of bigots to grow up even stupider than them.

    Parents do not get to set the curriculum but they do get to choose schools.

  • As someone who lives in, and went to school in Alberta, I can tell you that sex education was always an opt-in module at any primary or secondary school I was in. By that I mean they wouldn’t teach it to you without parental consent. I’m not 100% sure, but I think required consent was only school board policy and not a legal requirement.

  • At present in Alberta, the sex-ed part is opt-out, meaning your kids get taught it unless you indicate that you don’t want them to participate. Both my kids brought home forms to the effect that unless you send this back to the school, your kid is getting sex ed.

    You could take them out, for example, if you want to be a grandparent in your 30s or something like that. That’s how Christians increase their numbers, you know.

  • Yeah, that sounds about right. I knew it involved bringing a piece of paper home, anyway.

  • Bleatmop

    Oddly enough, this isn’t new in Alberta. It’s just that opting out of evolution was not mandated by law before. When I was in high school in the 90’s, permission slips were sent home that had to signed if our parents wanted us to opt out of evolution. The only difference this law would make is that it would no longer be a voluntary process on the part of the teacher, but one mandated by law.

    I guess it isn’t odd, it’s just sad.

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