Alberta parents petition court to stop schools from hiding their kids’ club memberships
VIDEO: [Rebel Media] Clip of Sheila Gunn Reid interview with Donna Trimble from Parents for Choice in Education on the Alberta Education Ministry’s decision to ‘enforce secrecy in schools’ and keep parents from knowing if their child has joined a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club in his or her school.
A Court of Queen’s Bench judge in Medicine Hat, Alta., is to hear arguments Wednesday filed on behalf of 25 faith-based schools and others to put the law on hold pending a constitutional challenge.
Education Minister David Eggen said he wants the issue cleared up as soon as possible, because legal wrangling leads to confusion and concern on the part of students.
“Uncertainty created by a court case like this … seeks to counter a lot of the progress that we’ve made to create safe and caring environments for kids and I find that pretty disturbing,” Eggen said in an interview.
The lawsuit was filed in April in response to a law passed by Premier Rachel Notley’s government late last year.
Gay-straight alliances are peer support networks organized by students to help gay kids feel welcome and to prevent bullying or abuse.
Parents kept out of loop
Leading the legal challenge is the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms. The group argues in court documents that keeping parents out of the loop violates multiple charter freedoms, including freedom of religion and expression.
It also says gay-straight alliances are “ideological sexual clubs” where graphic information on gay sex is available.
The group also says the law has “stripped parents of the ability to know fully where their children are, who they are involved with, and what they may be encouraged to think or do.”
This article continues at [CBC News] ‘Ideological sexual clubs’: Alberta gay-straight alliance law faces court challenge