March 26, 2012
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – Under Alberta's proposed Education Act, the curriculum of all schools will be subject to the Alberta human rights legislation and by extension, its quasi-judicial tribunals.

"These values, these tribunal rulings – not court of law rulings – will now be forced in every course and every program of study in Alberta," said Patty Marler, the government liaison for the Alberta Home Education Association.

Marler told parents at the Western Canadian Catholic Home School Conference that the ability to teach their morals and values in a school setting is in jeopardy.

"This is not just a homeschool issue. This legislation is going to affect every child in every school in Alberta," said Marler, noting it will negatively affect the morality of all future generations.

UNIVERSAL RULING

According to section 16 of the Education Act, all courses and programs offered and instructional materials used in a school must reflect the Alberta Human Rights Act.

Marler, a mother of four children, said the Alberta Human Rights Commission has frequently made rulings contrary to the conscience of Christians.

"The tribunals are appointed people who aren't necessarily trained in law and they can make judgments based on their own opinions, not based on their training as lawyers or judges," she said.

"The values of whoever is on those tribunals will now be transferred onto your children, not based on legal precedent or legal decision, but how someone appointed to a tribunal decides."

The prior right of parents to determine the education of their child and teach them according to their religious beliefs could be undermined by this legislation, she said.

Marler said the new Education Act will prevent Christian teaching on certain issues, a clear infringement on religious freedoms.

Confirming her fears were statements made in the legislature by Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman who said parents have authority over their children at home, but once children go to school, the Education Act takes precedence.