Four months ago, the Alberta Government passed Bill 24. It changed the School Act by adding some alarming requirements for all schools in the province, including faith-based Christian schools.
These new laws are alarming in that they go against Canada’s Constitution and the Alberta Bill of Rights which provide protection for the right and responsibility of parents to make informed decisions about their child’s education, including their moral education.
- Bill 24, for example, forbids schools letting parents know if their child is attending a Gay Straight Alliance or activities such as a Gay Pride Parade.
- By the way, guidelines and resources provided for the establishment and operation of the Gay Straight Alliances are often offensive, pornographic, and blatantly attack the traditional Christian view of morality, sexuality and marriage. Yet parents are excluded by Bill 24 from knowing if their child is being taught the sexual ideology contained in these resources.
- When a student requests that a Gay Straight Alliance club be established in a school, the school must immediately organize such a group, regardless of the religious values of the school, without consulting the school board, or checking with parents.
- Bill 24 also requires even religious schools to adopt policies that undermine the religious character and values of the school.
- For example, faith-based schools depend on well-qualified and mature Christian teachers who feel called by God to teach children in a Christian setting. When it comes to hiring teachers, however, Bill 24, however, forbids schools to screen teachers on their faith, their gender orientation, or their sexual preference.
- The new law specifically excludes Gay Straight Alliances and related activities from the requirement to inform the parents and give them the option to have their child “opt out” of this program which promotes a non-biblical view of sexual identity and behaviour.
Three weeks ago, a group of parents and a large number of independent schools filed a court application seeking court orders staying and striking down the provision of Bill 24 that violate parental rights and religion freedom.
The case will be heard on June 8. The schools are requesting that the judge suspend the changes to the School Act so that they cannot be forced onto schools until they have been tested for constitutionality.
The current situation reminds me of the attack on a long-ago, major servant of God, as told in Daniel 6. Daniel’s enemies knew they could bring no charge against him unless it had something to do with his obedience to the law of God. In the same way, the government knows they can bring no charge against Christian schools unless it has to do with their obedience to biblical values. This is a good time to pray for a similar outcome.