Ontario’s Anti-bullying law is about bullying, not targeting religion

Yesterday I was listening to the CBC and came across an interview that really got my wife and I fuming. They had on a ‘spokesperson’ named Jack Fonsaka from The Campaign

English: this is my own version of what bullyi...
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Life Coalition. They are a very right wing sect claiming to be Canadian Catholics.

They are anti-choice, anti-gay, and unfortunately are quite outspoken. I won’t give them the benefit of a link from my site, so go Google them.

The topic of the day was about bullying. The province of Ontario, the biggest province in Canada by population, is creating a bill to protect bullied youth in schools and give them the ability to have openly functioning groups without fear of violence and bullying.

I think the law is fantastic! Just like the law making targeting women needing abortions a crime. What pisses me off is the battle that these ‘people of faith’ start because they claim it is an attack of their beliefs. Really?

In reality it is the opposite of that. It is right-wing religious groups like this that support banning books, rejecting gay-straight alliances, wanting all sex education banned from schools, insisting the lord’s prayer be left in government legislatures, rejecting birth control, and wanting to outlaw abortion.

It is groups like this that breed hatred. I have said before and will say again, that I believe these groups have a right to speak their minds, but at the same time, so do gay groups, pro-choice groups, atheist clubs. I’m for instituting free speech even in their ‘sacred’ private schools.

The Campaign Life Coalition wishes only to have their voices heard.  And, it is simply wrong to let them get away with it

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19 Replies to “Ontario’s Anti-bullying law is about bullying, not targeting religion”

  1. I dislike hearing or reading about stuff like this only because it makes these rotten apples tarnish the name of religion…or even anything spiritual. It’s so strange when these self righteous people all forget that even Christ was friends with the tax payers and the prostitutes…

    hehehe I want to say so much more but it’ll probably make me sound like a raving lunatic so I shall instead say ” Grrrrrr…idiots” 😉

  2. Imagine this. You pay your taxes, contribute to society, your beliefs are continuously attacked, misinterpreted, misunderstood. By half trues, and lies of ommission the media demonizes your minority group every chance it can. Now imagine the government intends on teaching your children, via the public school system you are paying taxes into, that your beliefs are wrong. Is this something that should happen in a country such as ours?

    Teaching proper social behaviour is a role of publicly funded schools. Absolutely teach our children that bullying others is not acceptable. This is a very different thing than imposing, via the curriculum, a set of moral beliefs that are in opposition to the religious beliefs of many Canadians. Let us teach our children to live peacefully and productively in the pluralistic society we live in, without infringing on the religious beliefs of others. While we are at it, Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals should sit in on the lesson.

    Although the media stories have largely focussed on the anti bullying aspect, as McGuinty’s Liberals intend, this law includes curriculum changes which were put on hold last year before the provincial elections due to their controversy.

    “Ontario’s Liberal government says it is not prepared to abandon the sex-ed component of a pending anti-bullying law” The Globe and Mail

    1. School is not just to teach proper social behaviour. It is to prepare kids for becoming an adult, and to try to understand how to make it. Sex education is not a moral issue. It is a reality of being human. And it should be taught in school. Religious groups want to put their heads in the sand and pretend that sex is only between men and women. I think kids should know early in life that there are gays, bi-sexuals, lesbians, and there are also people with different gender identities. Why? Because it is a fact, not a belief. And it should be taught at the level of the kid’s development.
      The reason gays are bullied if because these ‘religious’ institutions want to preach that gays are evil, aren’t ‘natural’, and should be converted to straight. When adults teach their kids this type of discrimination, it is no surprise their kids become bullies too.
      You can keep your kids home from school the day they teach the rest of the kids something about society…

  3. That various choices exist in life is a fact, that they are all equally moral or not is a belief. We are blessed to live in a pluralistic society with a diverse population of people and beliefs. Teaching in public school that all lifestyle choices are equally right, is no more acceptable than teaching in public school that specific lifestlye choices are morally wrong.

    I read a quote in a newspaper article that summed it up best in my oppinion. “The point here is not whether you agree or disagree with their viewpoint. The point is that you can’t tell people what to believe — even if you’re the premier of the province”

    Gays are not bullied because ‘religious’ institutions preach that gays are evil, aren’t ‘natural’ etc. They are bullied, because all kids that are different in any way are bullied. The major religious institutions teach us to love everyone, even when we believe that what they are doing is wrong. Bullying does not fit into any religious teaching that I am aware of, definitely not in Christianity.

    The fact is that 33 percent of kids in school say they are bullied, and only about 2% of the population identify themselves as gay or bisexual. The bullying discussion is being used to disguise a revision to the sex ed curriculum that a good percentage of Canadians spoke out agains in April 2010. In all likelihood there are more kids bullied that are smart, or are not athletic, or do not wear the right brand of shoes, than are bullied because of their sexual orientation.

    Put an end to bullying, absolutely. Impose the moral beliefs of some on all, certainly not in a country as great as ours.

    1. I understand what you are saying. Yes, the 2 issues maybe should have been introduced separately, but gay groups should be able to meet, discuss, and exist in a public place like a school without fear of bullying or repercussions.

      There is no where that the law says that the government is going to teach people HOW TO BE GAY…Just that gay people exist. They are educating on people being of different lifestyles. It’s a fact. What are you afraid of? Kids finding out where men stick their penises? I say we educate kids to learn about safe sex, tolerance, and that religion has been trying to hide reality from us for far too long…

  4. Educating kids that “religion has been trying to hide reality from us for far too long” is exactly the problem. This is your belief, but not the belief of many, and not a belief of mine. I personally find this statement intolerant.

    How could anyone who is religious send their kids to a public school that taught their kids such a thing? To be a “public” education system the curriculum can not take sides on moral issues and teach one value system over another.

    Please review the sex ed curriculum proposed by McGuinty’s Liberals in April. He put them on hold because of the impending provincial election and the amount of controversy it caused. It includes material to be taught, starting from the age of eight years old, that definitely contradicts the teachings of the three major religions, which still make up a good percentage of the Canadian public.

    1. Sex education is not a moral issue. Period. Humans have sex. Keeping it out of the classroom is your attempt to control the public with your moral compass.

    2. Sex education is absolutely essential, and I never said otherwise. Again, please read the proposed sex-ed curriculum changes to understand how in infringes on the moral and religious beliefs of some.

      I am proposing that the curriculum in an education system should have no bias towards any one belief system to be tolerant and inclusive of everyone. Unless I am misunderstanding you, and I leave it to the other readers of this forum to decide, you would like the education system to reflect your moral compas without any consideration that others have different beliefs.

      You have stated that “religion has been trying to hide reality from us for far too long” when for a good number of Canadians their religion is reality. A strong public education system must take this into consideration so that all families can feel comfortable with the education their children recieve.

    3. I would say that Social Studies should include the religious atrocities that have occurred in the name of god. The same arguments that are made against a more comprehensive sex education curriculum, are used to try and limit science education and discussions around evolution. If you aren’t comfortable with kids getting a healthy comprehensive sex education based on modern education standards, then keep the kids home that day.

      You keep mentioning I read the curriculum, however, tell me specifically what you have a problem with?

  5. Unfortunately, North Americans in general have a poor background in history. The misinformation that exists in the media and popular rhetoric surrounding various historical events is astounding, but back to the topic at hand.

    Do you concede that it is the goal of a public education system to have no bias towards any one belief system and be tolerant and inclusive of everyone?

    1. It is impossible to have no bias. There is a fine line between presenting (or in your case, not presenting) information for the health of the general public without offending someone. I want to know what specifically you have an issue with in teaching sex education and the changes proposed by the Ontario government. Seeing that I have no problem teaching sex education to kids, and you do to ‘some extent’, what is the issue, and why are you so opposed?

  6. My own beliefs are not important in this debate, that is exactly the point. Regardless of my religious beliefs I should be able to send my kids to public school without them being taught material that contradicts their faith. Otherwise children will be indoctrinated to reject their parents’ faith family values; our religious freedom would then be compromised.

    I am opposed to a curriculum that teaches anything that is in opposition to Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Budism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Atheism, Agnosticism. If theories are to be taught, teach them as theory and not fact. Present all sides of the arguments fairly and equitably. This is not the case with the proposed curriculum update.

    I thank you for this discussion as it has solidified my strong belief in a public education system with curriculum that is mindful of the pluralistic society and religious beliefs in which we are blessed to live. The alternative is an increase in the number of home schooled and privately schooled children which will only serve to reduce mutual respect and understanding amongst our population.

    1. If you are opposed to a curriculum that teaches anything in opposition to religions, then why bother sending your kids to school? The bible, or whatever 3,000 year old religious book you are guided by should tell you everything you know, and you can just avoid public schools all together.

    2. This is exactly the kind of thinking that I oppose. It undermines a strong public education system, and a healthy vibrant society.

      There is no discrepancy between having strong religious beliefs and being highly educated, actually it is quite the opposite. I have a PhD in applied sciences, and my wife a Masters degree in Biological sciences.

      In the last census, 83.5 % of Canadians had a religious affiliation (77% Christian,6.5% other) and 16.5% had no religious affiliation. Would you have 83.5% of Canadians not attend public school because they have a set of religious morals and values?

    3. You just don’t get it. Sex education is for the good of society. You won’t say what you oppose with the Ontario law other than it is against your religious beliefs. There is nothing wrong with believing something, but laws should not be made for your religion above others. I don’t see some of these religions you speak of standing up against sex education. Only right wing anti-choice, anti-gay christian groups…

    4. You are not getting it. We are not talking about laws, or putting one religion above another. I am saying that to treat all veiwpoints and religions equally, the school system can not promote one set of values.

      I believe a public education system should not teach material that is in opposition to the religious beliefs of parents. The updated sex-ed curriculum proposed contradicts most Christian Faiths, the Islamic faith, and the Jewish faith.

      As long as the curriculum does not conflict with your own personal beliefs you are O.K. with it.

    5. I think religion needs to stay out of a secular school system and curriculum needs to be set based on teaching kids important lessons on personal safety health, facts about the world,etc. If you don’t want your kids learning something in the curriculum, then have them stay home that day.

    6. The problem with the new curriculum, is that its objective is to incorporate the sex-ed curriculum in with all of the other subjects. This is generally true of all subjects in the modern curriculum. In general it is a good thing, but there is not just one day of sex-ed that parents can keep their children home from.

      Also, in the Toronto school board where they have already implemented some of the new curriculum, the instruction given to teachers is not to inform parents of the times and dates of the sex-ed teaching so as to prevent parents from keeping their children home. This is clearly laid out on the Toronto District School Board website.

      I agree 100% that religion should be left out of school. My definition of religion is any set of values and beliefs, the values and beliefs of North American Liberal Secularism is a rligion. A Religion that contradicts the religious beliefs of many Canadians.

    7. I don’t see an issue with sex ed being incorporated into a longer piece of the curriculum, but I doubt they are creating a daily lesson like math, or english. I would then ask, what is the specific part of the sex ed curriculum that is the issue here?

      I agree with you that parents need to be informed and dates and times should not be withheld from parents. That is a separate issue that needs to be addressed. The same thing applies with parents that wish to know more about what is being taught in biology. The subject will still need to be taught to all the students, but parents that wish to keep their kids out of that classroom during discussions around evolution, should be able to make that decision. There would be scholastic consequences for not learning the material, but the parent should still be informed.

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