Update: Justin Trottier will be on Jim Richards Show at 1:30pm to discuss this story.
Anxiety of influence is a literary term coined by Harold Bloom and discussed in his 1973 book, The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry. However, this post is not about either the term or poetry. It is is about the alarming influence the Ontario school boards have over education in Ontario. This influence is causing parents of school age children a lot of anxiety:
Oliver Erazo has been battling the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board since last spring to obtain a full exemption from religious courses and programs for his son Jonathan, a Grade 10 student at Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School.
While Erazo’s son Jonathan was given a partial exemption from religious studies, he “must stay home rather than work at school during other religious programs.” Even though “the law clearly states parents can get a full exemption for their children from religious courses and programs,” when Oliver Erazo contacted the Education Ministry, he was told “his exemption request was a matter to resolve with the board.”
Thunder Bay resident Terry Prodanyk is fighting to have his 17-year-old daughter Monica, a Grade 12 student at St. Patrick High School, exempt from a religion course so she can focus on other academic areas.
In his interview with The Star, Prodanyk admits that there are questions about his case and Erazo’s case:
“The question is posed, ‘Why go to a Catholic School and not take religion classes or participate in mass or faith days? Why make the Catholic schools change their way of doing things to accommodate us?’
These questions are irrelevant. Publicly funded Catholic schools are funded by every Ontario taxpayer, not just Catholic taxpayers.
According to School board spokesman Bruce Campbell,
the board is only willing to provide the course exemption. “You can’t extricate the faith,” he said. “It’s woven throughout the fabric of the school.”
Campbell’s statement prompts another question: Isn’t obeying the law woven throughout the fabric of the school? Publicly funded Catholic schools should not be exempted from obeying the law .
The comments by Pat Bullock, a chaplain at St. Theresa’s Catholic High School in Midland are crap:
“If they feel they’re going to be indoctrinated, it’s not going to happen in a religion course. It’s not heavy-handed, Bible-thumping Catholicism. It’s an exploration of religion.”
No, it’s not an exploration of religion; it’s Catholic religious indoctrination and it’s time this indoctrination stopped!