Ont. anti-bullying bill at odds with Catholic teachings: Broten
Published Tuesday, October 16, 2012 6:11PM EDT
The dispute over comments by Education Minister Laurel Broten about Catholic values that she says conflict with Ontario’s Bill 13 is growing.
The anti-bullying bill passed in June is intended to make schools more accepting.
But in a press conference last week Broten made controversial comments about how values taught in Catholic schools might be at odds with the legislation.
“We do not allow, and we are very clear with the passage of Bill 13, that Catholic teachings cannot be taught in our schools that violate human rights.”
Specifically Broten says schools should not be teaching students that abortion is wrong.
“Taking away a woman’s right to choose could arguably be one of the most misogynistic actions that one could take.”
Now the Campaign Life Coalition has started a petition calling for Broten’s resignation and it has already been signed by over 5,000 people.
Spokesperson Richard Marchak says “If she thinks that teaching one should care for everybody, that one should accept and love the unborn, elderly, the young, the old equally is misogynistic then she’s sadly mistaken.”
Parents like Laurie Hayhurst say they want their children to learn more than just the basics in school.
“The reason I want my children to go to a Catholic school is so that they get the morals and values.”
Marchak believes that the call to change the teachings in Catholic classrooms is akin to infringing on religious liberty and “an indication that the bullying bill is going well beyond bullying.”
In a statement released to CTV News on Tuesday, Broten says current curriculum expectations will not be changed, but the government continues to support a woman’s right to choose.
The legislation also allows students to form gay-straight alliance clubs, something Catholic groups also says infringes on religious freedoms.