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Letter sent to Minister Johnson regarding AHRA from AHEA

September 5, 2012
 
Dear Minister Johnson,
 
AHEA has become aware that the PC caucus will be meeting today, on Wednesday, September 5, 2012.  We continue to urge you to remove the Alberta Human Rights Act from the Education Act.
 
The embedding of the Alberta Human Rights Act into the Education Act sets off red flags.  Why is it that an existing legislation is being embedded into the Education Act?  If the AHRA is already overarching as is the common explanation, what is the purpose to it being placed in into another Act?
 
Home educators are not against human rights.  In fact, many home schooling families stand up for the rights of those who don’t have a voice, those out of the majority and who are suffering or injured, not because standing up is popular, but because someone suffering needs help.  We believe in true human rights.
 
It would seem that the legislation name ‘Human Rights’ Act invokes thoughts that this legislation is all about Human Rights.  In actuality, this legislation has been used as much to harm individual rights and liberties as to protect them.  When people have to be afraid of prosecution by Kangaroo courts due to speaking words, even if true,  which offend, then this is the true violation to individual rights.  The Alberta Human Rights Act takes away an individual’s ability to express their opinions openly.  It makes speech the crime.
 
Individuals will have varying ideas and thoughts, and this variety of thought leads to robust communities and societies.  Limiting a society’s words and thoughts, simply because they might offend, is the true loss of liberty.   Take away a person’s ability to speak freely, and we truly are moving towards a controlled society, one in which true hate crimes are more apt to occur.  Prosecuting individuals who speak their mind is a type of social engineering and societal control that is a loss of human rights.
 
True hate crimes need to be prosecuted, and to be prosecuted to the fullest extent under the law.  Hate crimes are criminal, and need to be treated as such.  Criminal code prosecution of hate crimes is appropriate to ensure heinous hate crimes are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  They are also necessary to protect individuals from unjustified prosecution by bureaucratically appointed, not legally trained, tribunals with little to no training in the foundations of law.
 
I urge you, to take out the AHRA from the Education act and replace Section 16 from Bill 2 with:
 
Respect
Education Programs offered and instructional materials
used in schools must not promote or foster doctrines of racial or ethnic
superiority or persecution, religious intolerance or persecution, social change
through violent action or disobedience of laws.
 
And, of utmost importance, please don’t forget about Parental Rights.  The Education Act has relegated parental rights and elevated Human Rights Legislation.  A parent’s right to make decisions for their children, simply because they are their parents, needs to be stated clearly in this act and this right needs to be protected.
 
Thank you for your efforts.
 
 
Patty Marler
Government Liaison for the Alberta Home Education Association
 
Cc  Premier Redford
Deputy Premier Lukaszuk

Action Required Regarding the Upcoming Education Act

AHEA has confirmed that the Education Act will be reintroduced into the legislature in the fall sitting. The PC government caucus will be meeting on Wednesday, September 5 to make key decisions, one of them being if the AHRA will be embedded into the Education Act. While home schoolers have done a significant amount of work already, it is urgent that we act again, prior to Wednesday, September 5, 2012.
Please contacting your MLA directly or writing a letter/e-mail. In the letter to your MLA, please consider including the following points:
 
  • We are aware that the Education Act will be reintroduced this fall
  • We want all references to the Alberta Human Rights Act to be removed from the Education Act
  • We take human rights very seriously and teach respect, consideration for all people, and individual human rights. We believe that hate crimes need to be addressed, and the Federal Criminal Code legislation is the appropriate place to deal with these serious offenses. Embedding the Alberta Human Rights Act into the Education Act is NOT the appropriate place to do this.
  • The Alberta Human Rights Act is an over-arching legislation. The imbedding of this and any other legislation into the Education Act is redundant, unnecessary and inappropriate.
Recommended wording to for the Respect clause:
 
Respect 16
Education programs offered and instructional materials used in schools must not promote or foster doctrines of racial or ethnic superiority or persecution, religious intolerance or persecution, social change through violent action or disobedience of laws. (this clause is virtually identical to the second half of the previous section as it was written in the old Schools Act)
 
  • Parents’ Paramount Rights in the education of their children needs to be clearly stated so the integrity of freedom in this province is preserved and maintained.
  • The reference to “informed decisions” by parents is alarming and offensive.  This term is used in the legal and medical fields to require a party with superior knowledge/expertise to act in a fiduciary capacity to advise clients and ‘seek their instruction’ toward advocating on a client’s behalf.  This type of language implies that parents are NOT foremost in autonomy or authority, but needing advice from a ‘superior authority’ with more advanced knowledge or expertise in order to make decisions about their children’s education.   Again, this is alarming and offensive in the realm of parental authority in education.
 
Please contact your MLA this week as the government caucus is meeting on Wednesday September 5, 2012 to make key decisions.
 
Please send letters/e-mails to:
  • your MLA
  • cc copies to :
    Premier Redford This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
    Deputy Premier Lukaszuk  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
    Education Minister Jeff Johnson This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Have you done some Home School planning?

I just hosted a Home School Support Group meeting this week, and one of the questions was:

What is your best Home School planning tip?

Smile - One mom shared her best tip would be to plan BEFORE the AHEA Convention in Red Deer.  She plans her next year before the April Convention and then buys what she needs there.  (She is our high energy, go getter mom, however!  The rest of us usually do our home school planning sometime in the summer, or early fall.)

Other tips were:

*Spend some time with each child, and ask them questions - such as:  What do you want to learn this year?  What did you dislike last year?  What did you love?  And so on....  Factor these answers into your Home School planning.

*Ask your husband or big kids to hold down the fort while you go somewhere quiet to do some planning.  That could be another room, another floor of the house, the family camper or RV, or even a coffeeshop table.

*Plan some time off during the year.  One mom does 3 weeks on, 1 week off every month year 'round.  Other moms do 6 weeks on, 2 weeks off, while still other families just take time off as they need AND as life happens.

A couple moms shared:  JUST DO IT.  (Smile)  Make the time and get some planning done.  Any time spent planning, saves you time, energy and headaches home schooling.

I would even recommend a major Home School Room tidy, and IF you have little ones, some time spent putting together activities they can do, while you home educate the big kids.  (I think those tips will be in the next blog!) 

Check out Donna Young's Site for Tips (She has a HUGE site full of Home School Printables)!  Many pages of helps.

And even the Weird Unsocialized Home Schooler has some planning tips....  Check them out!

Smile - This lady says that one of the most important parts of our Home School Planning is our meal plan.  I do know it helps our Home Educating run smoother, if I do have a menu plan. 

So, I hope you are excited about Home Educating your children this fall and that something shared made it easier for you!{jcomments off}

 

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