The members of the Horizon School Division Board of Trustees posed for this picture to promote the idea that they care about education. However, according to the Board’s latest press release,”Lord’s Prayer in Schools,” the Board believes that prayer is an important component in education:
As an inclusive learning environment that recognizes diversity and promotes understanding and respect for individuals and groups, the Horizon School Division Board of Trustees recognizes the complexity of decisions regarding the direction of religious practices within its schools. Trustees are also sensitive to the inherent dignity of all persons and the diverse cultural and religious composition of its families. Upon gathering, processing, and evaluating information from multiple sources and extensive deliberation, the Board of Trustees, guided by its beliefs and values, and considering the interests of all the students the jurisdiction serves, has motioned that under some circumstances schools can play a role in supporting parents with regard to religious practice as afforded within the School Act and provisions set forth within section 93 of the Constitution Act of 1867 as amended by section 17 of the 1905 Alberta Act which references section 137 and 138 of the Ordinance of the Northwest Territories. [my emphasis]
Oh lord! The trustees, guided by their beliefs and values, have directed the schools “currently reciting the Lord’s Prayer as part of their opening ceremonies to continue to do so.”
Dr. Hamman Elementary school, which is part of the Horizon School Division is not currently reciting the Lord’s prayer, so it is not included in the boards decision because
On Nov. 6, 2013 [a parent, Melanie] Bell filed a formal letter of complaint to the Horizon School Division, and last week, it was confirmed that the Lord’s Prayer had been dropped until the board decides how to proceed.
In the true spirit of procrastination, the trustees will deal with the Dr. Hamman school Lord’s prayer issue later.
The press release contradicts the board’s assertion that it cares about education and “recognizes diversity and promotes understanding and respect for individuals and groups.” Although Melanie Bell’s son, a Dr. Hamman student, doesn’t have to hear or recite the Lord’s prayer, for now, students like Bell who attend one of the other 5 schools where the Lord’s prayer is recited daily are, regardless of their belief or non-belief,” expected to know the words and participate.”
The members of the Horizon School Division Board of Trustees need to think beyond their personal beliefs and values when they do the job for which they were elected: demonstrate a commitment to ensuring academic excellence and inconclusiveness for all students in Horizon School Division No. 67.