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

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

Restaurant owner concerned about Gasoline Alley road changes

Nearly 20 trucks were lined up on the service road in front… Continue reading

Preliminary hearings set for two men charged in weapons and drugs bust

A Red Deer man and Sylvan Lake man are facing 80 charges

Eight dogs found in Innisfail hotel room were kept in cages

Eight dogs, kept in cages in a small hotel room in Innisfail… Continue reading

WATCH: Hypnotizing show at Westerner Days

Hynotist and mentalist Joshua Seth performs three times a day at Westerner Days

PHOTOS: River Town Saints rock Red Deer

River Town Saints play Westerner Days Friday in Red Deer

PHOTOS: Dogs, horses and more animals at Westerner Days

Westerner Park’s pavilions were filled with animals during Westerner Days

Red Deer residents can’t get enough mini-doughnuts

Mini-doughnuts were the biggest draw to Westerner Days according to a Red… Continue reading

Four-car crash, including RCMP vehicle, on Highway 2

Two sheriff vehicles were also involved in the collision

Divers hunt for 4 after Missouri duck boat sinks, killing 13

BRANSON, Mo. — Divers are searching Friday for four people still missing… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer’s noxious weeds are a goat’s dietary delight

Piper Creek Community Garden gets chemical-free weed control

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

From hot to not? The Baloney Meter weighs in on Scheer’s economy claims

OTTAWA — “Justin Trudeau inherited a booming economy, but he’s squandering it.… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month