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Teach Children the True Colors of Equity
  • Petitioned PVNCC District School Board

This petition was delivered to:

Greg Reeves, School Board Superintendent
PVNCC District School Board
Ontario Minister of Education
Laurel Broten
President Ontario Catholic Trustees Association
Nancy Kirby
Superintendent of PVNCCDSB
Deirdre Thomas
Ontario Premier
Dalton McGuinty

Teach Children the True Colors of Equity

    1. Ann Tesluk
    2. Petition by

      Ann Tesluk

      Bowmanville, Canada

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.”


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.

human Rights

Human rights

recognize the dignity

and worth of every

person and provide

for equal rights and

opportunities without


regardless of race,

ancestry, place or

origin, colour, ethnic

origin, citizenship,

creed, sex, sexual

orientation, age,

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.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 100 signatures
    2. other teachers still have the old pamphlet and have used it in class

      Ann Tesluk
      Petition Organizer

      we are not out of the woods yet - these old pamphlets should not be used in ANY classroom.

    3. teachers reporting that old pamphlet and materials have been recalled

      Ann Tesluk
      Petition Organizer

      this is a result of our petition and our social activism

    4. pamphlet is off website

      Ann Tesluk
      Petition Organizer

      The Pamphlet is off the website and the new, revised version should be up soon. I've seen a draft and it is a huge improvement.

    5. Steps toward Victory

      Ann Tesluk
      Petition Organizer

      Greg Reeves told reporters that the pamphlet is being sent back to the Equity Committee for rewording.
      Word has it that it is no longer being distributed.
      It is still on the website and the copies already out have not been called back yet.
      I would like to see this move be recorded on public record and am taking steps to ensure this.
      Will continue to keep you posted.
      Thank you all for your support!
      Also - kudos to Mr. Reeves for having the courage to do the right thing.

    6. Xtra has published the story

      Ann Tesluk
      Petition Organizer

      Andrea Houston's take may interest you. Read it and share your comments

    7. Greg Reeves has agreed that this issue warrants further discussion

      Ann Tesluk
      Petition Organizer

      I have been told that the Superintendent, Greg Reeves, will be meeting with the local Bishop about this issue. For what purpose and to what end I am not sure but it cannot be argued that this is not creating discussion. That is a start.
      I'll continue to update you throughout this process.

    8. Spoke with Andrea Houston, Xtra news reporter

      Ann Tesluk
      Petition Organizer

      Her publication is following this story

    9. I've added some extra addressees to the petition

      Ann Tesluk
      Petition Organizer

      Ontario Minister of Education (Laurel Broten)
      Ontario Premier (Dalton McGuinty)
      President Ontario Catholic Trustees Association (Nancy Kirby)

    10. Reached 50 signatures
    11. Visited the school today to share my concern with the teachers

      Ann Tesluk
      Petition Organizer

      Educating children starts with educating the educators. :)

    12. Reached 25 signatures
    13. Slap Upside the Head also is covering this injustice

      Ann Tesluk
      Petition Organizer

      Catholic Schools Unveil Their Tax-Paid GSA Replacements
      An exert from this website:
      This kind of condescension isn’t appreciated, even when it isn’t factually incorrect. But this particular resource is a rich tapestry of contradiction. As the pamphlet notes in a column directly beside the section calling gay people “objectively disordered,” the American Psychological Association removed homosexuality from its list of recognized disorders four decades ago.

      This is not delivering the support that gay students need. As long as the Catholic school board in Ontario receives tax dollars from the province, it should not be free to disobey the scientifically-sound, and government-mandated recommendations from the Ministry of Education. So, now all eyes are on the McGuinty government. Was all their talk about requiring “specifically dedicated groups” in support of GLBT youth just an empty election promise? I’ll be waiting!


    Reasons for signing

      • about 1 year ago

      Sexual Orientation is a gift from God, regardless of what gender your attracted to.

      • about 1 year ago

      Sexual Orientation is a gift from God, regardless of what gender your attracted to

    • Shannon Lanigan SAINT JOHN, CANADA
      • over 1 year ago

      because love is love and everyone deserves to be treated equally.

    • Anna Maranta OTTAWA, CANADA
      • about 2 years ago

      The pamphlet on Sexual Orientation must be modified to conform with the Ontario

      Human Rights Code which recognizes the dignity and worth of every person and provide

      for equal rights and opportunities without

      discrimination, regardless of race, ancestry, place or origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status or disability. The doctrine shared in this pamphlet does not serve to create a safe, inclusive, environment but sends messages to children that homosexuality is a negative attribute, and thus opens them to discrimination.

    • Martin Engel BERN, SWITZERLAND
      • about 2 years ago

      Because human rights are not negotiable.


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