[Byfield] Alberta’s Bill 24 may be setting us up for ‘Residential Schools 2.0’ but with far greater danger
VIDEO: [JCCF.ca] Son of woman who attended residential school speaks out against Bill 24
The Alberta NDP government brought forward Bill 24 arguing that “every student deserves a welcoming, caring and safe place to learn.” This is, of course, a most laudable goal. However, Education Minister Eggen’s first speech promoting the bill failed to mention a single instance from the past that this bill would have remedied. Presumably, Bill 24 is supposed to reduce negative behaviours often associated with homosexuality, such as suicide, running away from home, dropping out of school or drug and alcohol abuse. For the most part, however, these problems are self-inflicted, so in the vast majority of cases the aggressor and victim are essentially one and the same. How setting up gay/straight alliance (or GSA) clubs will reduce these afflictions Mr Eggen failed to say, and the witless media present at this speech similarly failed to press him for such evidence.
What he did say, however, is that “kids sometimes feel safer talking about gender and sexual identity with their peers.” Presumably this means that only “peers” (i.e. other kids) will be present in these clubs. Teachers are needed to oversee students in classrooms, gyms and schoolyards, but when engaging in conversations and activities about sex with other students? Apparently not. Some schools have students from kindergarten through Grade 12. Therefore boys and girls ranging in age from 6 to 16 will be meeting up to explore this most delicate and psychologically-sensitive issue with absolutely no adult supervision at all. What could possibly go wrong?
Either that, or adults will be present, and Minister Eggen, like his handling of the ultra-top-secret new Alberta curriculum, thinks teachers are better equipped to care for children than parents. He appears to believe this even though nearly 1,300 students fell victim to 714 school teachers and staff across Canada over the last 20 years and often when caught not only receive no jail time at all but get to keep their teaching licenses. This mentality that government knows best is not new and seldom ends well, especially when children are involved. Just ask any of the participants in Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
From the commission’s final report:
“In establishing residential schools, the Canadian government essentially declared Aboriginal people to be unfit parents. Aboriginal parents were labelled as being indifferent to the future of their children”
And who did the Canadian government think was better able to care for aboriginal kids? Why agents of the government, of course. What followed over the next century the report goes on to say was the creation of an environment where “child neglect was institutionalized, and the lack of supervision created situations where students were prey to sexual and physical abusers.”