On February 22nd, the Burnaby School District approved draft policy 5.45 on “Homophobia/ Heterosexism”. The draft policy is scheduled to be adopted before the end of the school year.
The draft policy has not been widely distributed to families reducing opportunity for public feedback.
The Burnaby School District’s aim to eradicate discrimination against one group of people is simply displacing it to others. The draft policy labels the belief that marriage is exclusively between one man and one woman as “perpetuating negative stereotypes and is dangerous to individuals and communities.”
By counseling children that they and their parents hold "dangerous beliefs" is divisive to families and family values. This a reverse form of bullying and name calling directed against children and parents. Schools must be safe environments for all children of all beliefs.
Educational authorities have the obligation to respect parents as the first and foremost educators of their children and may not impose a system of education unless it is granted the expressed permission from the parent to do so. Within the scope of parental rights lies the right to teach their children values that are in conformity with their beliefs regarding the family, marriage, and sex.
Draft policy 5.45 imposes mandatory re-education of a specific sexual doctrine by embedding these teachings into the day-to-day curriculum. This effectively removes any avenue available to parents to exempt their child from the curriculum. Parents, not educational authorities, decide whether, how and when a child will be taught about certain sexual education doctrines.
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