Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bill 44

Buckle your seat belts everyone; we're about to blast back 100 years.

Alberta's recently introduced Bill 44 is the latest attempt by the Canadian government to intercede in the education of young people. The legislation gives parents the right to pull their children out of class when controversial subjects such as sex, religion, and sexual orientation are to be discussed.

The last time I checked Alberta was above the 49th parallel, so I am shocked to find that one of our own provinces has suddenly transformed into a macrocosm of hillbilly southern America. What good can possibly come of giving parents the 'right' to make sure that their child is removed from any and all thought-provoking discussion in the classroom.

Is school not supposed to be a place of learning, a place where students can develop critical thinking skills and learn to interact with others of different backgrounds? What Alberta has done ensures that dogmatic parents can indoctrinate their offspring and be guaranteed that their hard work will not be challenged by the process of group discussion and critical analysis. Christian parents can sleep easy knowing that their children can grow up to be conservative homophobic Creation-ists. Muslim parents can rest assured that their children will be able to escape discussion of Christian and Jewish histories, and can grow up to be faithful fundamentalists who live in a society within a society. Members of the queer community can go to sleep knowing that their rights as equal members of Canadian society are less than a generation away from being trampled by this fresh crop of 'educated' evangelicals and fundamentalists.

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