Update: Secular Ontario has announced the time and location of its protest:
2525 Alta Vista Drive
Ottawa, ON K1V 7T3
2:40 pm on Friday 23rd
Metro News Ottawa announced,
Members of a secular humanist group say they will be handing out “get out of jail” coupons to Catholic high school students advising them they have the right to opt out of religion classes.
The colourful coupons are bilingual and display a spoof Monopoly “Get out of Jail Free” card with the word jail crossed out and the words “forced Catholicism” written on top.
Secular Ontario plans to release the name and the location of the “selected” Ottawa publicly-funded Catholic secondary school on Thursday, January 23, 2015. On Friday, January 23,
supporters “will be on public property in front of [the] selected publicly-funded Catholic secondary school [in Ottawa] to distribute coupons to students,” when classes finish in the afternoon.
A statement from a member of the Ottawa Catholic School Board reads,
“We treat all requests for exemption for Religious Education courses in High School on a case-by-case basis.”
Really, on a case-by-case basis? That’s not what Section 42 (13) of the Ontario Education Act says:
no person who is qualified to be a resident pupil in respect of a secondary school operated by a public board who attends a secondary school operated by a Roman Catholic board shall be required to take part in any program or course of study in religious education on written application to the Board of,
(a) the parent or guardian of the person;
(b) in the case of a person who is 16 or 17 years old who has withdrawn from parental control, the person himself or herself;
(c) in the case of a person who is 18 years old or older, the person himself or herself.
Religion classes are optional! The coupons are designed to let students and parents know that the “mandatory” religion courses in Catholic high schools are not mandatory.
Enough already, it’s time for the Ontario Catholic school boards to pay attention and start obeying the law!