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Wonderful News: Bill 3, the New Education Act Recognizes Parent's Prior Right

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My Dear Friends:
Today is a good day.
Home educators have good reason to smile and celebrate today.

Today the Education Minister of Alberta, Jeff Johnson, introduced a new Education Act in the Alberta Legislature.
Patty Marler and Paul van den Bosch represented AHEA at a technical briefing this afternoon where we got an advance look at some sections of the new Act.
We couldn't share it until the Minister introduced the bill, but we then had opportunity to express our support during the Minister's press conference for the sections we had read.

The new Act includes some key wording that shows the Minister has listened to Alberta parents.

Here are the key sections. . .

Where the previous versions of the new Education Act (Bill 18 under Dave Hancock and Bill 2 under Thomas Lukaszuk) contained reference to the Alberta Human Rights Act, the new act - Bill 3 - uses the wording from the current School Act:
 
"Diversity and respect
16(1) All courses or programs of study and instructional materials used in a school must reflect the diverse nature and heritage of society in Alberta, promote understanding and respect for others and honour and respect the common values and beliefs of Albertans.
(2) For greater certainty, the courses or programs of study and instructional materials referred to in subsection (1) must not promote or foster doctrines of racial or ethnic superiority or persecution, social change through violent action or disobedience of laws."
 
Further to that, Bill 3 adds wording detailing parental responsibilities that state clearly that parents have a "prior right" over their children's education because parents are the "primary guide and decision-maker" over children's education:
 
"Parent responsibilities
32 A parent has the prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be provided to the parent’s child, and as a partner in education, has the responsibility to
(a) act as the primary guide and decision-maker with respect to the child’s education,"
 
 
Today is indeed a good day!
So please thank God for today.
And after celebrating, here is some further information for you.

1 - the bill was only introduced for first reading today (which is a first step to the passing of the bill). We need to continue to pray for passage of the bill and positive reaction to it from all interested parties.

2 - there are many regulations that follow from the Education Act (including the Home Education Regulation) and Alberta Education will be reviewing those regulations over the next 18 months. We need to pray for God's will in that review too (and we will be involved in the review of the regulation right from the beginning).

3 - we need to give credit where it is due and say "thank you!" to those who have helped us in getting our concerns known.
So please call your MLA, and please call the Education Minister's office, to thank them for listening and responding to Alberta parents.

Thank you to everyone for praying and for all your efforts on behalf of home schooling parents and all Alberta parents.
Thank you God for your steadfast grace during all of this!

Blessings on you and your family.
 
Patty Marler
Government Liaison for AHEA
 

eAlert: The Ongoing Political Scene

To all AHEA members:

 
On Thursday October 4th, 2012, three members of the AHEA executive - Ted Tederoff, Patty Marler, and Paul van den Bosch - met with Alberta Education Minister Jeff Johnson at his office in the Legislature.
 
The meeting was cordial, however the Minister told us that no final decision had been made at this time, on whether the Alberta Human Rights Act would be referenced in the new Education Act. (which will likely be one of the first pieces of legislation introduced when the Legislature begins sitting October 23rd).
 
Since we therefore still do not know what that Education Act will contain, AHEA asks that all members please consider the following actions:
 
  1. Please pray: for all politicians, for all home educators, and for God's will in all things.
  2. Make one more contact with your MLA to again make the point that the Human Rights Act undermines the fundamental rights and freedoms of all parents.
  3. if you know any "new Albertans" (or are in contact with groups that represent them) take the time to explain how this issue affects them. (The concern here is that some new Albertans are not aware of how human rights tribunals work and how they are threats to all parents).

One more note: Minister Johnson made it clear that AHEA will be involved in all aspects of the upcoming review of the Home Education Regulation. The Regulation will be reviewed (along with all other education regulations) in the 18 months after the passing of a new Education Act.

Keep home schooling and keep praying!
 
From all of the members of the AHEA Board

More News:
Human Rights Ruling affects Toronto District Schools (Click Here)
German parents lose custody of their children for homeschooling (Click Here)
Global Home Education Convention in Berlin (Click Here)
Human Rights Legislation: How Could There Possibly be a Problem? (Click Here)
Boost in the arm for Albertans fighting for parental rights (Click Here)

Human Rights Ruling affects Toronto District Schools

October 11, 2012
 
The practicality of human rights commission rulings hit education hard last week in Toronto.  The Toronto District School Board has implemented a policy which allows any individual who is ‘feeling’ a different gender than they were ‘assigned at birth’ to use the public school washroom of their gender choice.  No medical documentation to ‘prove’ their gender is required and no individual may question a person’s motives for using a bathroom inconsistent with their ‘gender assigned at birth’.
 
Practical Application: The practical application of this policy is that anyone on Toronto District property can use any bathroom at any time.  During school hours, Toronto District parents are faced with the reality that ‘physical’ men and older boys will be welcome to use the same bathroom as their little girls.
 
Where did this new Policy come from?  A Human Rights Commission ruling
Ryan Bird, Communications Officer for the Toronto Disctrict School Board responded to the question of “Where did this policy come from?”  He stated, “... this came out of a mediation decision from the Ontario Human Rights Commission last year between the TDSB and a student. So this is coming out from the Ontario Human Rights Commission.  So we are taking our lead from them in putting together these guidelines.”   http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/1876267283001
 
Human Rights Commissions non-judicial rulings ARE affecting education in a significant way.
 
What can we do in Alberta?
1.Tell people about the new policies in Toronto and about how human rights commission rulings are affecting the overall society in a profound way. Alberta’s Department of Education is still considering imbedding the Alberta Human Rights Act into the Provincial Education Act. Ask people to call their MLA to voice their opposition to this.

http://www.aheaonline.com/index.php/political-updates/367-letter-sent-to-minister-johnson-regarding-ahra-from-ahea

 
2.Learn more about Provincial and Federal human rights legislation and speak to your MLA about your concerns.
 
3. Contact your MLA to voice  your opposition.  To find your MLA, click http://www.assembly.ab.ca/net/index.aspx?p=mla_home

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