Social Justice Course Yanked By Religious Groups

September 24th, 2008

Religious groups in Abbotsford, B.C. have successfully lobbied to gut a high school social justice course of all gay rights content, and even cancelled the course altogether in most of the district’s schools.

In a letter to the B.C. Ministry of Education, the Abbotsford School District ostensibly suggested that the optional course was “too challenging” for senior high school students, saying it would be “more suited for second- or third-year sociology students.” More revealing, the board said they were concerned that teachers might inject a “personal bias” in their lessons, causing students to be “more biased and less tolerant of opposing beliefs because of misinformation.”

Anti-gay lobbyists had protested the course since it’s inception, first falsely informing parents that it was a mandatory subject (it’s an elective) and later encouraging parents to sign a petition to get the course pulled. The controversy was due to content on the topics of homophobia, heterosexism, and other gay issues.

While most of Abbotsford’s schools cancelled the course before any students were able to sign up, W.J. Mouat Secondary didn’t get the memo in time and had to gut the course of gay content instead, leaving the 90 students that had signed up to take the course confused and angry.

A spokesperson for the ministry of education said that schools aren’t required to offer the course, but disagreed with Abbotsford’s assessment, saying that no other schools had a problem with the subject matter and that last year’s trials of the course were successful.

Abbotsford will reportedly replace the ministry’s course with a new, environmentally-friendly one that teaches kids how to recycle diversity books into bibles.