I just saw this infuriating story on Hemant Mehta's blog about how Catholic schools are shoving 70 minutes of their own religious education down the throats of their students -- whether the parents like it or not. And they're doing it with public funds. And they don't care what the court said on the matter.
Catholic schools force students to study religion despite court order
Catholic schools in Ontario are requiring students to take religious courses despite a recent court decision that ruled they can’t be forced to attend.The way I understand it, this ratepayer business refers to a box on your property taxes that designates whether you support the Catholic public school system or the secular public school system.
In multiple correspondences reviewed by The Globe and Mail, Catholic school board officials from across the province have denied requests from Catholic high-school students that they be excused from religious studies on the basis that their parents are Catholic school ratepayers.
Property owners are asked to designate themselves as supporters of either Catholic or public schools. While this affected school-board funding in the past, it no longer does – as of 1997, school boards have been funded solely by the province.So, it doesn't matter which box you check on your taxes, you're still funding these Catholic institutions. However, if you check the Catholic box, the Catholic school board is unilaterally claiming authority to indoctrinate your kid, whether you like it or not -- even if your child has an compelling reason not to be wasting their time getting Catholicized -- even if you happen to be Catholic and take care of all the Catholocizing at home and want the school to help your kid learn about science or math or something useful. Really, you have no freedom at all.
The issue of whether Catholic schools can require students to participate in religious programs – not just courses, but also liturgies and retreats – was the subject of a recent court case brought by a Brampton father against the Peel-Dufferin Catholic District School Board. A panel of three judges ruled in April that students had a right to be exempted from religious programs. Catholic school officials are interpreting that decision as applying only to those students whose parents declared themselves as public-school supporters.It's so nice they've taken to interpreting the laws for us. I suppose courts and judges are no longer required in Ontario. It's like the good old days in Ontario.
Got an autistic kid who needs extra help in math so he can get a job and support himself? Too bad, you'll need to hire a tutor for that since the school needs to fill 70 minutes of their day with religious instruction at your expense and your child's time. You checked Catholic on the tax form -- too bad so sad.
But Ms. Borgstadt said she has been told by the school principal that Cameron isn’t entitled to an exemption. “I feel that my son has been cheated,” she said. “It’s 70 minutes every day for an entire semester. Nobody needs that much religion, particularly when you’re talking about a child who’s struggling in the school.”The solution here is obvious and the article even goes into it. If parents, even Catholic parents, wish to be free to decide, they must start out by revoking their support for the Catholic school board on their property taxes immediately. This institution must be shown it cannot take such outrageous liberties as it's apparently grown grotesquely accustomed to in the past.
Of course, the State should stop funding these schools altogether. Maybe if people begin to revoke their support, the numbers will dwindle to the point that politicians stop being so cowardly and finally do the right thing.
“It had nothing to do with religion, nothing against the courses or what was being taught,” Mr. Barbo said. “It was simply about my son’s dedication and getting into his goal university.”The Catholic Church is all about religion and apparently the school -- a sort of state-funded extension of the Church -- is completely uninterested in Mr. Barbo's son's educational goals.
Visit www.oneschoolsystem.org and CFI Canada for more information and share this with your Catholic parent friends.