The Alberta Teacher’s Association (ATA) is right in step with these changes, working closely with Kristopher Wells and Andre Grace at ISMSS to implement them and busy retraining teachers to integrate a new “safe schools” program. In fact, the ATA has awarded ISMSS several times and includes their research on sexual and gender minority youth in all of their publications, including this “Guide For Teachers“, which is essentially written by Kristopher Wells.
In an Excerpt from the ATA’s article “It’s OK to be different”:
“Who knew that a Grade 2 classroom would provide such fertile ground for meaningful discussions about inclusivity? Elementary school students are naturally curious and open-minded so, more than ever, it is vital that we engage them in age-appropriate conversations about gender and sexual diversity.”
S. 50.1 of the School Act: “Notification is required where courses of study, educational programs or instructional materials, or instruction or exercises, contain subject matter that deals primarily and explicitly with religion or human sexuality.” Gender theories conflict with many families religious teachings and also lead into discussion of human sexuality, whether intended or not. For these two reasons, consent of parents IS REQUIRED.
How do we determine when controversial topics such as gender (binary vs. spectrum) are “incidental” and when they are not when the entire push for the new curriculum is for gender topics to be integrated into every subject and that they feel it is “vital that we engage them in age-appropriate conversations about gender and sexual diversity”?
With resolutions on the table such as this one, posted in the 2018 Resolutions Bulletin, it is questionable as to the goals of their union and the guidelines they are actually following:
2-15/18 (Current Directive)
Edmonton Public Teachers
BE IT RESOLVED, that the Alberta Teachers’ Association urge the Government of Alberta to require that all curricular outcomes related to human sexuality be mandatory for students attending K–12 schools in Alberta, which receive public funds, with no provision for opting out.
Note—It is cruel to deny any student the opportunity to learn this vital information. Some of the most vulnerable LGBTQ2 students and students at risk of sexual abuse are likely to be among those excluded by parents from these classes. Well-taught, fact-based instruction is proven to lead to fewer teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Teachers should be trusted to teach this content, like any other topic in any course, with good judgment and professionalism.
Is the ATA considering the comfort levels and the rights of teachers in teaching the upgraded curriculum (that will include Comprehensive Sexuality Education)?
It is cruel to subject children to learning Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), without the opportunity to opt out, given what is in these CSE programs.
It is cruel to force children in a classroom who have experienced trauma through sexual abuse, and without the opportunity to opt out, insist that they sit through a graphic sex ed class that their parents would have opted them out of had they been able to.
It is cruel to expect that a child in a classroom with mental and cognitive delays will actually interpret the information correctly for their own safety. Without the opportunity to opt out how can parents guide these children correctly on sexual matters; parents who know and understand their special needs child best?
It is cruel to teach a child explicit sexual how-to’s when they are taught at home a pure and clean version of sexuality which includes complete chastity before marriage and complete fidelity after. Isn’t it cruel to ignore and belittle a child’s belief system and bypass their parents? Without the opportunity to opt out how is it right to put parents in a position that they must “un-do” what they believe to be false information taught by the school and that conflicts with their own beliefs and convictions? How is right to push a child into psychological distress and confusion when these two ideas of sexuality collide?
It is cruel to ignore the fact that not all children are on the same levels of maturity, and it is cruel to push them to be ready en masse together to learn one liberal view sexuality. Without the opportunity to opt out how can parents choose WHEN is right for their child to learn more, at the child’s pace?
It is cruel to put teachers in a position to teach material that a) may conflict with their personal values; b) conflicts with their ability to use professional judgment based upon what they know about children in their classroom; and c) conflicts with the guidelines they are to follow, their training and their ability to make case by case decisions. It is cruel to tie the hands of teachers, place them as wedges between students and parents and put them in positions where they fear of losing their jobs if they were to do what they feel best for a child – which more often than not – involves notifying parents. Without the opportunity to opt-out, how can teachers justifiably notify parents when they feel that certain parts of this instruction are not right for certain children?
It is cruel to ignore the hundreds of parents who say “NO”; parents who have every “right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children” and EVERY RIGHT TO OPT OUT.
Lastly, with the varying belief systems of teachers and the simultaneous increase of more sexually explicit information, how can parents really trust that this education would actually be taught with professionalism and good judgment when too many variables are involved determining what the definition of “good judgment” is?
The answer is: They can’t.