Alberta reviewing rules to make sure schools ensure rights of teachers, gays

Alberta’s education minister is reviewing all of its agreements with alternative schools in light of anti-gay pronouncements by one faith-based school.

EDMONTON — Alberta’s education minister is reviewing all of its agreements with alternative schools in light of anti-gay pronouncements by one faith-based school.

Jeff Johnson said the province is also reviewing school employment contracts to make sure they don’t infringe on human or charter rights.

“I’m very concerned,” Johnson told reporters Monday.

“With all of our schools we expect that they’ll be adhering to all provincial legislation, the Education Act, (and) the Alberta Human Rights Act.

“We need to look at all the school boards and find out who has these (provisions) in their policies.”

His comments come after reports that the stated policy of Prairie Christian Academy near Calgary requires teachers to abstain from “homosexual relations” and not cheat on their spouses.

The school also warns students against illicit sexual conduct, and says the unjust will burn in hell’s “lake of fire.”

The academy receives public funding and is now getting $7 million from the province for building upgrades.

In Calgary, students and teachers at the publicly funded Heritage Christian Academy can be expelled or fired for engaging in a lifestyle of “sexual immorality” previously defined as including gay sex.

Opposition politicians say Johnson needs to act immediately.

“It’s up to the education minister to make sure that no teacher or no student is at risk of being discriminated against that way,” said Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith.

“It’s an incorrect policy.”

NDP Leader Brian Mason said, “We need to be really clear that you cannot discriminate in an educational institution or in any other institution on the basis of sexual orientation.”

Liberal critic Kent Hehr says the government has to share the blame.

“If the government isn’t already aware of what’s been happening in many of our schools I’d be surprised,” said Hehr.

“Either they have, as in past, condoned these principles, or they’re turning a blind eye.

“This falls right in the minister’s lap.”

Last week, the plight of gays in schools made headlines when Hehr championed a motion urging the government to push schools to allow the formation of gay-straight alliances to help gay students avoid bullying.

The motion was defeated by a coalition of Progressive Conservatives and Wildrose members on the grounds it was an issue best left to school boards.

On Monday, Johnson said he’d talked to the two Christian academies, and said they told him they’d be willing to set up gay-straight alliances if the students called for them.

Hehr was skeptical.

“That’s kind of rich when you look at the language in some of their (school) documents,” he said.

“I’d like to see them put their money where their mouth is on that issue.”

Just Posted

Updated: Red Deer welcomes 2019 Canada Winter Games Team Alberta

About 250 Alberta athletes are participating in the Games

Syrian immigrants feel welcomed

Winter Social held at Festival Hall to promote multiculturalism

Small group rallies with pro-immigration message

Group wanted to counter misinformation on United Nations migration agreement

Trump says ‘things are going very well’ with North Korea

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Saturday that “things are going very… Continue reading

NDP won’t stop until Trans Mountain is built, says minister

Deron Bilous speaks at Red Deer chamber luncheon

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Kriechmayr edges Swiss favourite Feuz to win WCup downhill

WENGEN, Switzerland — It takes a special run to beat Switzerland’s best… Continue reading

WestJet plane heading to Victoria slides off Edmonton runway, no injuries

EDMONTON — A WestJet plane has slid off an icy taxiway at… Continue reading

Sam Bennett scores twice, Flames beat Red Wings 6-4

Flames 6, Red Wings 4 CALGARY — Sam Bennett scored twice including… Continue reading

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Most Read