Catholic Schools Controlling the Message

According to Xtra, the principal at St. George (Catholic) School in Ottawa has refused to allow two students to “choose gay rights as the theme for their social justice project” because the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) has a

“rich family life program that addresses all aspects of human relationships and family life in an age appropriate manner. The curriculum stresses the dignity of each and every person and teaches that there are many ways to be a family.”

The above statement is more sound than substance. Yes, this is an ambitious project for 11 year old grade 6 students, but the project, if the school had allowed it to go ahead, would have encouraged the two students, Quinn and Polly, to research outside the box of  Catholic teaching. The school cannot allow this because Quinn and Polly may find out the Catholic way is not the only way to address gay rights: Quinn and Polly would discover that Catholic teaching contradicts Ontario’s Human Rights Code. However, as one of the parents points, out Quinn and Polly

“have learned more about social justice in the last four days than they ever would have doing any kind of project.  “They have 11-year-olds talking about gay rights.”

The principal has learned something as well: many of her students will not willingly remain inside the cage she, the OCSB, and the Catholic Church have built for them:

Disappointed with their principal’s decision, Quinn and Polly mounted a small, silent protest of their own, attending school in rainbow coloured clothes with small rainbow flags painted on their hands on Nov 12. They say that a majority of their classmates support them.

Quinn, Polly and their classmates have shown courage and determination. They are more courageous than the government of Ontario. It is time for Premier Wynne and Education Minister Liz Sandals show the same courage and determination and lead Ontario government to dismantle the Catholic cage and create one school system for Ontario.

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