For 6 years I have had children attending school in the Peterborough Northumberland Clarington Catholic District School Board.
In that time I have held positions on the local school council in various capacities.
As I am in a committed, loving same-sex relationship, I have been watching, more closely than some, the McGuinty initiative of the school boards in Ontario being required to develop an equity policy.
The document that our school board has come up has been on the website for a while but this week the pamphlets came out and were distributed to the members of the school council.
On February 9th, at St. Joseph's Catholic Elementary School in Bowmanville, we were given an opportunity to see the pamphlets that were paid with our tax dollars.
The principals have been instructed to present the pamphlets and educational curriculum to staff at an upcoming meetings. There are poster boards with a summary of the policy that were installed this week on the school wall. The posters are fine, in fact, great. There is no issue with these that I can see.
However, I do not think the page on Sexual Orientation is what the McGuinty government had in mind when the initiative was implemented. In fact, I believe that it has the potential to do more harm than good.
Please see the following exert, obtained from the pamphlet: The Colour of Equity.
“The number of men and women who have deep-seated
homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination,
which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of
them a trial. They must be accepted with respect,
compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust
discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH #2358
As it is right now, it is derogatory, patronizing and discriminatory, not to mention lacking in scientific evidence. Homosexuality was removed as a disorder by the American Psychological Association 4 decades ago. Any child who reads this will be faced, at minimum, with a negative attitude towards homosexuality. Isn't this what we are trying to prevent? How can we allow any school in Ontario to teach this to our children?
I understand that this a Catholic school board but that is no excuse for violation of human rights.
recognize the dignity
and worth of every
person and provide
for equal rights and
regardless of race,
ancestry, place or
origin, colour, ethnic
creed, sex, sexual
marital status, family
status or disability as
set out in the Ontario
Human Rights Code
To allow this pamphlet to be distributed is to be complicit in spreading ignorance, in the name of religion. I do not think that God would appreciate being misrepresented in this way.
There is a lot of good in Roman Catholic educational system but the doctrine on sexual orientation that comes down from the Roman Catholic Church is outdated and harmful.
At the local level, we may not be able to immediately effect major change in the Roman Catholic Church but we cannot walk away, saying that there was nothing we could do. We need to speak up and be counted because there are lives at stake.
Children and adults, Roman Catholic and others alike are suffering because of this misinformed and misguided doctrine. In fact, reports about suicides in the wake of homophobia have increased in the media recently. Please do not let our school board be responsible to adding to these numbers. I urge you not to be complacent on this important issue.