I didn’t decide to write this until a friend put a post on facebook which didn’t just accept and condone Alberta’s Bill 24, but promoted it as an educated and informed decision. And now people are sharing his misinformation.
What I don’t understand, is with all the information out there, why would you just read all 20-pages of Bill 24 written in legalese. Actually you wouldn’t. You would also read the 184-pages of the Alberta School Act (which I am sure my friend did as well). You would also read dozens and dozens of online posts about Bill 24 and it’s implications.
I can honestly say that had this same NDP government not attacked Home Schooling twice last year, I would not have read either document. Notley’s government has made it clear now that they are only interested in a complete control of our education system and they weren’t vague about the fact that they don’t care about school boards, teachers or parents in that regard. Look how they steamrolled their transgender policies into schools as just one example.
How do you respond to a friend?
So now I have a problem with a friend spreading misinformation about a new law that I oppose vehemently, mostly because I have six school-aged kidlets living in my house still, but also because these children are our future and I was still kinda holding out hope for the future of our province and country.
I suppose I share my thoughts on my blog. Venting to a few hundred readers should make me feel better, maybe a few thousand. Every time I see someone spreading misinformation, I enjoy spending the time commenting on their opinions. If you agree with him and you think Bill 24 has little impact on parents in Alberta, you might want to stop reading. The facts below might force you to admit some unpleasant things to yourself.
I am not going to get into all the problems with Bill 24 but let’s take a moment to discuss the results of my friend’s “research” in case it ended up somehow agreed with him.
No More Parental Rights
There is no current rule that schools are to inform parents when their child joins any club at school.
The fact is that section 50.1(1) explicitly declares that a school board does have to provide the notice and he mentioned it in his social media post.
50.1(1) A board shall provide notice to a parent of a student where courses of study, educational programs or instructional materials, or instruction or exercises, include subject-matter that deals primarily and explicitly with religion or human sexuality.
Why would this include a club like a chess club or a GSA? It shouldn’t, except by law it does and the government knows that it does, so they added this to section 50.1 which they never would have needed had they not knowingly written a law that violates an existing law.
50.1(4) For greater certainty, this section does not apply with respect to the establishment or operation of a voluntary student organization referred to in section 16.1 or the organizing or holding of an activity referred to in section 16.1
Did you read that? Bill 24 makes creating GSA’s available and takes them out of the notification clause. They admit that parents should have the right to know when their youth are learning about anything in relation to “human sexuality” or they would have erased 50.1 entirely.
Teachers Stripped of Authority
Why are people getting bent out of shape for Gay-Straight Alliances being formed and parents not being informed? My guess would be fear that their little angles (sic) are being guided into being something they are not.
How about we ignore your guess for a moment and consider that this has nothing to do with GSA.
Let’s say a school has two new clubs; one teaching about sexuality calling itself a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) and one teaching youth how to join ISIS calling itself Jihadist Club. I know that you may not have a five year old joining a GSA or Jihadist Club but if they did, Bill 24 allows a teacher or school to notify parents that a five year old is learning how to become an ISIS soldier just like it always did because section 50.1 specifically says that the parents have the right to know.
That same five year old joining a GSA though, no longer falls under the same section because the GSA is immune to the law under Bill 24 (in reading the new law, I would have to consult a lawyer to confirm that the Jihadist Club might actually be immune as well).
The teacher and school are now forbidden from letting a parent of a five year old know that their child has joined a specific group of individuals with no regard to the child’s health or safety.
16.1(6) The principal is responsible for ensuring that notification, if any, respecting a voluntary student organization or an activity referred to in subsection (1) is limited to the fact of the establishment of the organization or the holding of the activity
Teachers and schools are only allowed to tell parents that the GSA exists. they are forbidden to give any further information.
Let’s Talk Suicide
Since it was brought up in the post, let’s talk about suicide.
My research has found that fewer straight boys are committing suicide because of GSAs.
Who cares about the suicide rate of straight boys? The answer is not enough people. Straight youth are much less likely to find help when suicidal that non-straight youth so let’s not talk about our society’s lack of caring for straight suicidal youth or I will be gone down the rabbit hole all night.
But now that you bring up suicide, let’s talk about the suicide rates for members of the non-straight communities that would attend a GSA in a school perhaps. If my youth is not straight, then the likelihood that they will attempt suicide goes up 471%. Did you see that number?
If your child was 471% more likely to die walking on a certain road to school, you would talk to them about finding an alternative route. If they join a GSA, they are likely not straight or considering being not-straight, and nobody is allowed to tell you, as a parent, that they are 471% more likely to attempt suicide (a right you were granted in the School Act until April 1, 2018).
There are so many details that a teacher considers before notifying a parent of a youth joining a group:
- Age. I understand a 17 year old youth thinks they are wiser than their parents and might even understand that particular parents might not react to a “coming out” discussion favorably but if a five year old joins a GSA there is simply no imaginable way that the parents being kept in the dark benefits that child.
- Mental Health. If a child has already attempted suicide and joins a group that increases suicide attempts by 471% the parents should absolutely be informed.
- Personality. What if a child is having a tough time fitting into social groups in school and joins a GSA to find friends. Shouldn’t a teacher have the right to ask the parents if they were aware that their child was not fitting in. Maybe what that kid really needs is to join scouts or a soccer team but the parents will never know.
I could go on and on but the fact is that the teachers and parents know the youth much better than the government yet Bill 24 precludes teachers from discussing this information for any reason.
I am not saying that informing parents of everything that youth do will end up being in the best interest of the youth or the parents but we were entrusted by God, the government, mother nature and everyone else you believe in, to raise these kidlets to the best of our ability. Will we get everything right? Not a chance. But taking away our opportunity to be a part of our youth’s life because the government wants to control certain aspects of their education is simply not in any way shape or form something that I can condone.
Parents fail but hopefully they fail forward. We stumble as we learn but we are ultimately granted one of the greatest gifts on the planet, the duty to guide, protect and provide for the children we raise. I cannot sit idly by and watch a government strip me of my right to perform my most fundamental duties, and I cannot sit by when another person says that I should.
If the government wanted to pass on doctor patient privilege to school councilors I would support it 100% but allowing “youth-led” to super-cede my rights as a parent is unforgivable in my mind.
I would support keeping some information away from parents if a health professional with mental health training deems it in my child’s best interest after talking to me and my child. You cannot give that same power to my child’s peers who are going through the same crap in their lives. The blind leading the blind will lead to revolution, not lower suicide rates.
Neutering of School Boards
We aren’t going to talk much about neutering of School Boards except to say that anyone who does not oppose Bill 24 is basically saying that school boards should have no say in anything relating to the health and safety of the youth so long as it fits in the School Act.
Currently, teachers and school boards have ways of delaying and possibly stopping activities from occurring at schools. If an activity fits into section 16.1 now, I can think of a dozen activities that would make some parents want to burn a school to the ground, the school must not just do it, but must do it now.
Before April 1, 2018 (Bill 24):
16.1(1)(a) permit the establishment of the student organization or the holding of the activity at the school, and
After April 1, 2018:
16.1(1)(a) immediately grant permission for the establishment of the student organization or the holding of the activity at the school, and
What kind of people are in our government that would take such vast power out of the hands of the teachers, school and school board and force them to “immediately grant permission” to a group or activity that fit their political agenda with zero oversight?
And what kind of a citizen would support such a fascist move? I hate when people compare some white guy they disagree with to Hitler for no apparent reason but this government is doing one thing after another that Hitler did to the education system in Austria and Germany and we know how that indoctrination worked out for the world.
Hitler, Notley and Albertans
I am going to wrap this up by tying these three clowns together (Hitler, Notley and any Albertan who agreed with Bill 24) by going back to those incredible suicide rates since they were mentioned in the post.
You see Rachel Notley has now passed Bill 24 and on April 1, 2018 it will modify the Alberta School Act and allow any youth from K-12 to join a group or activity while preventing any educated adult from mentioning it to the parents. If these youth join a GSA, they will be joining a group with the highest suicide rate of any group of people since Jewish people lived in Austrian and German concentration camps.
I have a problem with anyone who doesn’t fight this side by side with informed Alberta parents because it is not just failing to do something good, but failing to acknowledge that an evil is attacking our children. If you actually choose to support this Bill 24 and spread your opinions without considering my children and the other one million Alberta youth, well I suppose we have a problem too.