The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26(3) states:
Parents have the right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, to which Canada is a signatory, states in Article 18(4):
The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions. [Emphasis added]
Section 1 of the Alberta Bill of Rights, RSA 2000, c A-14 states:
It is hereby recognized and declared that in Alberta there exist without discrimination by reason of race, national origin, colour, religion, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity or gender expression, the following human rights and fundamental freedoms, namely:
(g) the right of parents to make informed decisions respecting the education of their children. [emphasis added]
The Alberta Family Law Act, SA 2003, c F-4.5, in regards to the rights of legal guardians (which includes natural parents), states the following:
21(4)(a) …each guardian is entitled to be informed of and consulted about and to make all significant decisions affecting the child in the exercise of the powers and responsibilities of guardianship… [emphasis added]
21(6) …each guardian may exercise the following powers:
(a) to make day‐to‐day decisions affecting the child, including having the day‐to‐day care and control of the child and supervising the child’s daily activities
(c) to make decisions about the child’s education, including the nature, extent and place of education and any participation in extracurricular school activities
(e) to decide with whom the child is to live and with whom the child is to associate
(i) to receive and respond to any notice that a parent or guardian is entitled or required by law to receive
(l) to receive from third parties health, education or other information that may significantly affect the child [emphasis added]
All these confirm that that legal guardians (parents) are entitled and empowered to make all decisions regarding their children’s education, including extracurricular activities and with whom their child associates, and “other information that may significantly affect the child”. The exercise of parental decision-making necessarily requires schools to properly inform parents about all aspects of the child’s education, including involvement with extra-curricular clubs and activities.
HOW IS BILL 24 CONTRARY TO EXISTING LAW?
Generally Bill 24 contradicts the existing law confirming that parents are the legal guardians who make the decisions about their children, not the state.
How does Bill 24 attempt to usurp those parental rights?
1) Schools must sponsor Gay Straight Alliance clubs if requested by any student, but school staff are legally required to maintain secrecy of information vis a vie parents when it comes to their own individual child’s participation in these clubs or activities, contrary to existing legislation.
2) No ability exists for parents to opt their children out of participation if they find out about their children’s involvement in these clubs and activities, contrary to existing legislation.
The secrecy and inability to opt out pertains not just to club activities, but school-wide activities which focus on human sexuality (including gender topics), regardless of the sensibilities of those parents and children who have chosen not to participate in these clubs. In effect, this legislation legitimizes state social engineering and proselytes the acceptance of LGBTQ activities to those who frankly disagree. It does not merely encourage respect and tolerance for the LGBTQ, which ought to be fostered, but these changes encourage recruitment and sexualization of our most vulnerable citizens and secrecy concerning the process.
The content of GSAs has not been mandated by the province. This leaves the facilitator, whether a teacher or a community worker unfettered discretion to introduce anything to the children, including several sites which have been accessible through the government funded Alberta GSA Network and Camp fYrefly. These activities are in secret and do not require a permission of the legal guardian(s). Teaching children the details of sexual activity and encouraging their participation is not part of the mandate of Alberta Education, especially in secret.
Most Albertans would be aghast at the resources available through the Alberta GSA Network in the sexualization of our children. When challenged by Theresa Ng of Informed Albertans, the Alberta GSA Network, purportedly run by Kristopher Wells of the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (ISMSS), deleted all of the sexually explicit links to its website (26%), which were recommended by Alberta Education for children through their community resource support page. Clearly these are not the people who should be entrusted with the care and education of our children, and who are simultaneously advocating that parents be excluded.
Read more here:
Protecting Children, Protecting Families: The Legal rights of parents to be fully informed on all matters regarding their children’s education.