Parents Can't Censor Curriculum: School Board
The Vancouver Board of Education has outlined rules in which parents may pull their students out of class due to familial religious beliefs. In a formal policy, the board said that while parents may request that students be pulled out of lessons dealing with gay issues in Health class, this does not apply to other classes—and any missed material still must be learned through either home instruction or self-directed studying.
Some parents have expressed concern that these regulations are too strict and infringe upon parental rights to pass personal values onto their children. I don’t believe that’s the case here; parents are absolutely free to teach what they believe to their children. The issue, instead, is whether parents have the right to censor the curriculum taught at school and prevent students from hearing parts of controversial topics that parents disagree with.
Having gone through a Catholic school system where gay issues were never addressed, I know what it’s like to be in the dark on gay health issues and have personally felt the effects of a blind-eye to homophobic bullying. Independent of what parents choose to teach their children at home, it’s extremely important that these are dealt issues with in schools. Gay students exist and often do not feel they can ask questions that concern them directly for fear of outing themselves.
The Vancouver Board of Education is right. These programs do not infringe upon or contradict parental rights, and should not be censored. Violence and harassment are never acceptable, regardless of one’s beliefs on homosexuality, and preventing the distribution of health information to those that require it would be irresponsible.
- No skipping gay-friendly classes, schools tell parents [Vancouver Sun]