Grade 9 student speaks out: Will the Minister of Education listen?

Grade 9 student call to action to Minister of Education

Thank you to Albertans across the province who have entrusted me with their letters of concern to the Minister of Education. If you have not already done so, please invest 20 minutes to write and send your letter to my mailing address.

Your words are personal, powerful and important.

One letter I received this week broke my heart, strengthening my resolve to continue advocating on behalf of children, parents and teachers.

I received permission from this Grade 9 student to share her letter publicly, on the condition of anonymity.

April 18, 2017

Dear Minister Eggen,

I am a grade 9 student in a Catholic School in Alberta. We have a GSA style club in our school, though under a different name. It is good kids get support, and find others to relate to.

That being said, I want you to know that my entire life I have struggled with an anxiety disorder. My greatest and most important support system has been my mom and dad. They have been there when no one else was, including teachers and friends at school.

Even when I tried to get help at school, I was told horrible things to my face by several teachers. Things like ‘shut-up’, ‘you’re being ridiculous’, ‘every other student can hold it together, so why can’t you’.

It took my mom calling to get me some support and even that wasn’t even enough.

Bottom line is that I would not have been able to survive had it not been for my parents.

My parents are Catholic but they have told me if was Gay they would love me anyway.

I do understand that this is not all parents and you should never have to be afraid to go home. But if you truly believe that your parents are going to be abusive for being who you are then other services should be put in place.

The danger of not telling parents is that kids truly won’t get the support that is desperately needed when you feel like you don’t know who you are and how to cope.

The other danger is that kids are getting special attention for just this issue, and so kids with other problems still have no where to go.

I have known two teens that have committed suicide, both in their grade 10 year. They weren’t part of the LGBTQ community. Where was their support? Where is mine?

Support needs to be in place for everyone.

Why are there posters all over my school for our GSA yet children like me are struggling and suffocating every day and we are left in the shadows.

There are a lot of at risk youth. You can help us all by improving actual supports in schools, like offering actual trained counsellors to all students, and including parents in their care. You should be spending money in schools to ensure children with mental health issues of all kinds are not forgotten.

I was lucky enough to have a support system at home but some families need help to talk. Why don’t you make helping parents talk to their kids the priority? Put money there. Then maybe the two kids I know, that now have no future, would be alive today.

Thank-you,

Grade 9 student – Living with anxiety, and still working at it every day,
Calgary, Alberta

 

While this Grade 9 student is perceptive enough to discern a more effective solution, our Minister of Education and many other MLAs have chosen instead to put politics before children, exemplified through edicts emailed to school boards and threats to codify the circumvention of parents into law.

Minister Eggen, why won’t you listen?

In order to best support children, we must encourage parental involvement in children’s lives, enhance communication between school and home and bring in more counsellors and qualified health/medical professionals to support the mental health needs of all students.

If you and your colleagues in the Legislature truly care about children then you will heed the words of this courageous student.

 

Minister Eggen, what is Alberta Education’s standard?

What is Alberta Educations standard

There has been a media frenzy the past few days regarding a pro-life presentation that occurred in a Grade 10 class in the Red Deer Catholic School District.

According to an April 10th Global News article, Minister of Education David Eggen responded with the following comments:

“I think it’s a good reminder to everybody to be vigilant and to ensure this sort of hateful propaganda doesn’t infiltrate our schools.”

“It’s completely outrageous. I was offended.”

“The presentation was inappropriate and misleading, using incorrect information and, quite frankly, frightening.”

“The Red Deer and Area Pro-Life group presenting in schools – I have a big problem with that too.”

An organization called AIM (Accessing Information not Myths) issued a press release “calling for an immediate, province-wide investigation into the state of sexual health education in Alberta schools,” including three specific requests of the Minister of Education:

1. Launch an immediate investigation into all third-party sexual health presenters in Alberta school districts

2. A rush-order on the provincial sexual health curriculum update to include comprehensive, age-appropriate, medically accurate, consent and evidence-based outcomes

3. Issue an immediate ministerial order that all non-teacher presenters must be approved by the government

Another organization, the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) also issued a press release stating how their group “welcomes province-wide investigation of third party influences in Alberta schools.”

ARPA Canada’s Executive Director Mark Penninga stated:

“We have been working with hundreds of Albertans over the past year who are concerned about how the Minister of Education has been forcing their schools to promote a radical gender ideology that is unscientific, full of misinformation and harmful”

“Instead of showing even an ounce of regard for these concerned parents, the Minister ploughed ahead with his agenda and his secretive efforts to revamp the entire education system using “experts” that he refuses to make public.”

What about last year’s student complaint?

As I have watched this story unfold I have been struck with the hypocrisy and double standard from the Minister of Education.

Last spring I published the following student complaint on my blog regarding an in-school presentation from Calgary Sexual Health.

An older brother wrote to me about the distress his Grade 7 sister experienced following that presentation:

“My youngest sister came home upset from sex ed yesterday. The guest speaker in her class taught that gender is in the mind, totally separate from the body. That for the purposes of sexuality and puberty, there are no males and females but “people with penises” and “people with vaginas”. That “some people” grow more facial hair than others. The speaker lumped the changes that come with puberty (breast development, facial hair, etc.) together into one degendered list. According to my sister, many of her classmates were confused. Some of them, not knowing what else to think, just accepted it.

Well, I don’t believe it. And I don’t think many people do. We believe there are such things as male bodies and female bodies, that gender corresponds with chromosomes and primary sex characteristics. The problem is that people with ordinary beliefs aren’t generally the ones volunteering to write sex ed curriculum or give presentations about sex to children. I don’t think this means kids need to be pulled out of sex ed, but I think it does mean that parents now will have to thoroughly educate their kids at young ages so they can reject the garbage they hear from guest speakers, and maybe help their classmates reject it too.”

Even more striking is the fact that I personally brought this student’s complaint to the attention of the Minister of Education during a May 25th meeting last year.

In fact, I provided David Eggen with a handout of the Genderbread Person (the predecessor to the Gender Unicorn), expressing my concern as an educator that such information was being presented as factual by Calgary Sexual Health when it wasn’t even part of the curriculum.

But what did our Minister of Education do then?

Nothing.

Where is an equivalent amount of outrage from our Education Minister over that student’s distress and Calgary Sexual Health’s presentation of “facts” that many people would consider medically inaccurate information?

Questions that must be answered

So here are some of my own personal follow-up questions for the Minister of Education:

1. Why does the Minister of Education have a “big problem” with a pro-life group doing a presentation in a Catholic school, but will still allow a group like the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS) to conduct “Fyrefly in Schools” presentations to Alberta students – even after iSMSS has severely violated the public trust by providing links to K-12 children that led to articles with sexually graphic images of BDSM and advice to “pay for porn”?

2. Why does the Minister of Education continue to allow a resource published by the Alberta Teachers’ Association to be used in Alberta classrooms when it is teaches (and even assesses) the Gender Unicorn as a “more authentic way of understanding gender”?

3. When it comes to sexual education in school, does the Genderbread Person/Gender Unicorn perspective represent Alberta Education’s new standard of “scientifically factual” and “medically accurate” sexual education information?  Will that perspective be mandated as “fact” in the new curriculum?

The requests of AIM and ARPA for a full and immediate investigation into all third-party sexual health presenters in Alberta school districts are long overdue and much needed.

It is about time that the Minister of Education sets a clear and publicly available standard as to what Alberta Education deems appropriate and factual for use in Alberta schools.

 

 

Alberta mom with caring message smeared by media

include parents banner

“Include Parents”

Who knew such a simple message, motivated by a mother’s deep love for family, could be so twisted and misconstrued into something controversial?

Maureen Prince, a mother from Medicine Hat, wrote about the inspiration behind the button she created in a blog post, concluding with the following words:

We wish that every child, struggling with any issue, would have the joy of his parent enfolding him in arms of comfort. That together, child and parent could walk the path resolving life’s difficulties. To those children without that, we wish you success and joy as you walk a difficult path.

 Life is hard, parents help us navigate it.

 And so my friends, this is a love story. The love of parents for their children.

Maureen drove 6 hours from Medicine Hat to Edmonton so she could be recognized yesterday as a guest in the Legislature where her MLA Drew Barnes spoke highly of Maureen’s important work in supporting families in her community (see Hansard for Monday April 11th, page 6).

However, unfortunately we live in a time when caring, respectful and common-sense parents – advocating for the involvement of parents in the lives of their own children – are misrepresented and vilified by both our legislators and the media.

First of all, PC-turned-NDP-MLA Sandra Jansen took to Twitter during Question Period in the Legislature yesterday and made this comment about Maureen Prince’s buttons:

Sandra Jansen Include Parents

How Sandra Jansen can take a simple message of “Include Parents” and construe it to suggest “outing gay kids” would be laughable if it wasn’t so destructive.

And destructive it has become.

From there, Lori Backman, a former public school board trustee, took it upon herself to troll Maureen’s Facebook page. There she found this post Maureen Prince made a week ago:

Maureen Prince FB post

Lori Baukman, based on alarmingly poor reading comprehension skills, took to Twitter to reference Maureen’s Facebook post and conclude that Maureen “equates GSAs with residential schools and eugenics”:

Maureen Prince Lori Baukman tweet

One would hope that someone’s random trolling and poor reading of Maureen’s Facebook post from a week ago would be mostly harmless – except for the fact that, for some bizarre reason, the media then picked up on this Lori Backman tweet and made it a centrepiece for their “news”.

This morning an article by CHAT News, Medicine Hat’s local news outlet, appeared with the headline “Local Wildrose president under fire for comparing GSA’s to residential schools”:

Maureen Prince CHAT News headline01

After many complaints – including my own – the article headline was changed and then eventually taken down completely.

Maureen Prince CHAT News headline02

maureen prince CHAT article taken down

But that was still not the end of it.

This afternoon CBC reporter Michelle Bellafontaine released an article with the headline “Wildrose constituency president criticized for comparing GSAs to residential schools”.

Maureen Prince CBC article headline.jpg

In the article the CBC reporter even featured comments from the Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman and a residential school survivor who each weighed in on the “controversy”:

“To say that is the same as residential schools where children were stripped from their culture, from their communities, often faced physical assault, sexual assault, loss of language and culture, I think that shows just how out of touch some of the leaders (are) within the Wildrose Party, including this riding association president.” (Sarah Hoffman)

…Prince’s statement drew backlash from commenters on her Facebook post.

“Comparing a GSA to residential schools is despicable,” said Rochelle Knibb. “As the daughter of two survivors, I hope you never know the pain that that period of history has caused families.

The problem is that the entire CBC article, including the above comment from the Deputy Premier, is based on an assumption that isn’t even true!

Where does Maureen Prince ever directly compare GSAs to residential schools?

And an even better question:
Since when does “news” become taking screenshots of unsuspecting citizens and then misrepresenting them in headlines?

As I have watched this evolving “news” through the course of the day, I have become increasingly disturbed.

The whole situation reminds me of a game of “telephone” in elementary school that has gone horribly wrong.

If journalists truly wanted to do a story about the inspiration behind the buttons or Maureen Prince’s specific stance on GSAs, then why wouldn’t they ask her directly instead of assuming and inferring her stance based on a personal Facebook post she happened to make a week ago?

Maureen is a mother who is advocating for the involvement of parents in their children’s lives.

She created some buttons and made the 12 hour return trip between Medicine Hat to Edmonton to bring her message to our legislators and to be honoured for her work.

But instead of being lauded for her support of children and commitment to championing the cause of strong families, she has been smeared in the media for something she never even said.

If journalists are now concerned with reporting on social media posts then why not choose to highlight the ones I have featured in my new video questioning the Education Minister how an education consultant – directly entrusted with the care of K-12 children across Alberta and employed by Alberta Education – uses his social media to mock parents on his Facebook page, post commercials of naked young people who kiss erotically and depict Christians as Nazis?

Or why not highlight the fact that neither MLA Sandra Jansen or University of Alberta professor & “safe and caring” schools expert Dr. Kristopher Wells – both who are all too eager to speak out against certain bullying and discrimination – have yet to publicly denounce association with the person who today tweeted the following reply to both of them specifically advocating for the extermination of an entire swath of conservatives in Alberta:

Maureen Prince KW eugenics WRP

It is about time that our MLAs and journalists start focusing on the real controversies and stop creating controversies in order to smear parents who just want to be included in their children’s lives.

Here are some contact names and emails if you would like to demand a higher standard of professionalism from those hired by taxpayer dollars in our Legislature and our media. Feel free to cc me at informedalbertans@gmail.com to help track the number of total complaints:

Sandra Jansen: calgary.northwest@assembly.ab.ca
CBC Michelle Bellefontaine:  michelle.Bellefontaine@cbc.ca
CBC Senior Producer Digital at CBC Edmonton: ashley.geddes@cbc.ca
CBC Managing Editor CBC Edmonton: gary.cunliffe@cbc.ca

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UPDATE – Medicine Hat’s local news station CHAT News has re-posted an edited version of their earlier article using a different web address, available on Facebook and on their website.

April 11, 11 p.m. – Maureen Prince also just posted the following comments on the Concerned Parents of School District #76 blog:

Just got back today from a 7 hour back road trip from the Legislature. Juggling 3 children under 5. A crazy trip! So sorry James Wood from CHAT doesn’t understand when I told him I’d get back to him in a day or two. My family obligations are more important than his schedule! There is no way I’m having a conversation in sketchy cell service so that sentences are misinterpreted and misunderstood. Even though my husband called CHAT personally to inform them I was out of communication, they fictionally reported I was avoiding them. This is irresponsible and incompetent. Facts are the hallmark of good journalism. We live in a democracy where the exchange of ideas is supposed to be done with civility. I am happy to respond to competent journalists. Thank you to the many, many people supporting and praying for me and our parents. You are amazing!! Thank you!!

 

Why won’t Alberta’s Minister of Education answer these questions?

why won't Minister of Education answer these questions

This past Monday during Question Period, Alberta’s Minister of Education was asked some important questions in the Legislature.

And he refused to answer them.

Thank you to Leela Aheer, Education Critic for the Wildrose, who specifically questioned the Minister regarding the news I broke in a March 13th blog article about sexually graphic content on the Alberta Education recommended website:

“Will the Minister tell parents: Whose fault is this? Why no one is monitoring this? And who is going to be held accountable?”

These questions are critical. The answers (or non-answers) to these questions directly impact the safety of your children in schools and the confidence Albertans have in our K-12 education system.

Instead of answering the questions, Minister Eggen claimed that:

“the very moment that we found this link, which was several steps removed, we had the people take it down”

“Certainly, as I said, the incident that was initially brought up we dealt with immediately… Certainly, we have worked to address this”

“we dealt with this in an expeditious manner”

(see Hansard page 488 or the video on Leela Aheer’s Facebook page)

However, these statements do not answer the questions at all.

First, the links went directly from the government recommended website to Facebook groups with content inappropriate for children – not several steps removed and certainly not a single link, as Minister Eggen attempts to suggest.

Second, while some inappropriate links were immediately removed the day after I published my original blog article, there were still several others that continued to exist for another 3 weeks. Stay tuned for a future blog article about those.

In fact, it wasn’t until April 4th – the day after Leela Aheer’s questions in the Legislature – that the entire “Community Supports” section completely disappeared from the GSA Network site (anyone interested in browsing the community support links that used to be available, can refer to this document).

What the Minister of Education still does not understand is that removing links does not solve the problem.

Superficial changes to the website will not resolve the deep violation of trust which has occurred between Albertans and those we entrust with the care of our children.

Simply put – the problem is not the site, but the source.

What assurances do we have that the same “experts” who provided children with access to such inappropriate support links will not still provide unvetted resources privately to children through the GSA Network? 

These are critical questions, especially in light of the Minister of Education’s new edict on Monday to all Alberta schools that parents should not be told if their child is involved in a GSA.

What are these provincial “experts” – and the government – trying to hide?

Leela Aheer’s questions in the Legislature echo my own: Why no one is monitoring this? And who is going to be held accountable?

We cannot allow the government of Alberta to compromise the safety of Alberta students by refusing to hold the organizers of this website accountable.

Please watch the new video below which clearly explains why removing a few links does NOT solve the problem.

To find all links and my P.O. Box mailing address referenced in the video, go to: Sexually graphic material to kids in Alberta schools: What you can do

We all must stand together for the safety of children in Alberta schools. Please join us and take action.

VIDEO: Sexually graphic material to kids in Alberta schools – What you can do

The video above is a follow-up to a blog article I published on March 13th which exposed how a government funded and recommended website, organized by the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta, directed K-12 children to sexually graphic materials. If you have not yet read that article, please READ THE ARTICLE HERE.

After watching the video, what can you do?

1. Sign the online petition: CLICK HERE

2. Write a letter. As stated in the video:

“Write a letter – not an email – an actual paper letter, maximum 1 page. Short, sweet, to the point to our Minister of Education. But please don’t send it to him. Send it to me instead at my PO Box…. The reason is because last year we had thousands and thousands of people who wrote letters to our Minister of Education expressing concerns about the Alberta Education Guidelines for Best Practices.

What happened to those letters? They were shoved in a drawer or a box somewhere – dismissed, disregarded and ignored. And we cannot let that happen again.

If you send me your one page letters I promise I will not let our politicians forget about your concerns. I will photocopy each of your letters and provide a copy to the Minister of Education, as well as to the Education Critics of the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties so that we can see which politicians are actually going to take a stand for the safety and care of our children.”

Theresa Ng
PO Box 92131 MEADOW BROOK
EDMONTON  AB T6T 1N1

*After you sign your name, please include the town, city or rural area where you live so we can show that there are concerns from across the province.

*Each letter should represent one person. If there are multiple people in your household who want to express concerns, please have each individual write a letter (max. 1 page) and mail in the same envelope. 

*If you have already sent a letter or email to the Minister of Education regarding this issue then please print it out (longer messages need to be shortened to fit on a single piece of paper). Mail it to my address so we have a count of how many individuals have voiced concerns. 

3. Inform Others

Please share the link of this webpage over email and social media to inform as many people as possible.

I have also prepared a one page information summary sheet that you can print and share with your family, friends, neighbours, co-workers, and parent groups:

INFORMATION HANDOUT image

INFORMATION HANDOUT – sexually graphic material to kids in Alberta schools

This is a time sensitive issue so please invest time TODAY to take care of these three actions in order to make a difference and ensure the safety of children in our K-12 education system.

If you have any questions please email me at informedalbertans@gmail.com

DEADLINE: May 12, 2017

THANK YOU and I look forward to receiving your letters soon!

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Government Endorsed Student Endangerment

The following article was co-authored by Theresa Ng of Informed Albertans and Donna Trimble, Executive Director of Parents for Choice in Education

The Legislature Stands United Once More

Brian Jean, our Wildrose opposition leader in the Legislature, has officially stated his agreement with the NDP Education Minister David Eggen, that it is ‘not appropriate’ to tell parents when kids join Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) in schools.

In doing so, the MLAs in the legislature continue to support secrecy over communication, and the narrowing of supports for at-risk youth, regardless of the danger this entails.

What danger?

While most MLAs seem eager to shut out parents in the care of their own children, they seem to have no problem ignoring how a government-funded and recommended GSA Network website led children to sexually graphic material about sex toys, BDSM and advice to “pay for porn” for months. How many 5 to 17-year-olds saw this material before 27% of the community support links were removed?

It is likely that iSMSS (Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services), the individuals responsible for this inappropriate material, are still key consultants with Alberta Education and (most likely) the secretive curriculum re-write. The University of Alberta, where iSMSS is located has offered no apology for the lack of professional oversight iSMSS provided to the Alberta GSA Network.

Thank you to Leela Aheer, the Wildrose Education Critic, who has taken up the gauntlet to advocate for the safety of children, questioning Minister Eggen yesterday in the Legislature. We hope to see more MLAs step up to ensure someone is held accountable for violating the trust of Albertans and endangering the safety of children.

It is unbelievable that these resources and community support links were made available to K-12 children from the provincial GSA “experts”, yet Brian Jean, the Minister of Education and other MLAs have the gall to falsely and audaciously accuse parents of being the greater danger to these vulnerable youth.

Family Law Act

It is essential parents and concerned citizens challenge the false rhetoric of our politicians and remind them who is legally responsible for the children of this province. Consider the following sections of the Family Law Act  (excerpts taken from s. 19, 20 & 21) that are being conveniently ignored by our elected representatives.

19(1) Every child is subject to guardianship.

(6) A court may, on application by a parent of a child, a guardian of a child or a child, or on its own motion in a proceeding under this Act or the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act, make a determination that a parent meets or does not meet the requirements to be a guardian under subsection (2).

Powers, responsibilities and entitlements of guardianship: 21(1) A guardians shall exercise the powers, responsibilities and entitlements of guardianship in the best interests of the child.

 (4) Except where otherwise limited by a parenting order, each guardian is entitled

   (a)  to be informed of and consulted about and to make all significant decisions affecting the child in the exercise of the powers and responsibilities of guardianship described in subsection (5), and

   (b)  to have sufficient contact with the child to carry out those powers and responsibilities.

(5) Except where otherwise limited by law, including a parenting order, each guardian has the following responsibilities in respect of the child:

(a) to nurture the child’s physical, psychological and emotional development and to guide the child towards independent adulthood;

(6) Except where otherwise limited by law, including a parenting order, each guardian may exercise the following powers:

(a)  to make day-to-day decisions affecting the child, including having the day-to-day care and control of the child and supervising the child’s daily activities;

(c)  to make decisions about the child’s education, including the nature, extent and place of education and any participation in extracurricular school activities;

(d)  to make decisions regarding the child’s cultural, linguistic, religious and spiritual upbringing and heritage;

(g)  to consent to medical, dental and other health-related treatment for the child;

(h)  to grant or refuse consent where consent of a parent or guardian is required by law in any application, approval, action, proceeding or other matter;

(i)  to receive and respond to any notice that a parent or guardian is entitled or required by law to receive;

(l) to receive from third parties health, education or other information that may significantly affect the child;

(m) to exercise any other powers reasonably necessary to carry out the responsibilities of guardianship.

 

Indeed, we live in a profoundly troubling times. We must demand that our government uphold the rights of guardians and parents to care for their own children, as protected by the Family Law Act.

Youth Need Parental Support

Research demonstrates why the Family Law Act was implemented to begin with. Vulnerable children, according to the Trans Pulse Survey and other research, have significantly improved outcomes when parents and families are engaged and supportive.

It is also known from many studies of young people’s psychological well-being, that parental support is a strong predictor of healthy self-esteem. In Trans PULSE, we assessed self-esteem using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (1965), defining “high self-esteem” as scoring 20 or higher; having parents strongly supportive of one’s gender identity and expression indeed had a significant impact on self esteem. Of those with strongly supportive parents, 64% reported high self-esteem compared to only 13% whose parents were not strongly supportive. 

We face a unique situation in Alberta in which an absence of a protocol for parental engagement has led to the coercion of educators in schools to circumvent parents.

If we are serious about setting these youth up for success then supporting youth as they engage in difficult conversations must be a priority.

We must make parent notification key and ensure that communication and expansion of support systems – not secrecy and isolation – are the ultimate goals. Any time we allow one-on-one conversations between adults and children then we allow an avenue for neglectful care at a minimum (narrowing of supports) and abuse of authority at its worst.

Oversight and measures of accountability should always be in place.

Minister Eggen Threatens to Expand State Control

But there is a greater danger posed by Wildrose Leader Brian Jean demonstrating such weakness on this portfolio in the Legislature.

When the opposition in the Legislature fails to stand up to protect families from state control of their own children, Minister Eggen and the NDP are empowered to expand that state control.

Minister Eggen has now informed the public that he “is considering” codifying into law the circumvention of parents in the care of their own children at school.

In the interim, Minister Eggen has issued a new edict.

Yesterday, he wrote to every single school board in the province of Alberta demanding that “such notification (of parents) should not occur.”

None other than the Director of iSMSS, the very organization that failed to vet the resources on the Alberta GSA Network and allowed students as young as five to access sexually graphic material for months, touted Minister Eggen’s message:

When Minister Eggen first offered the Guidelines for Best Practices to schools in January of last year, upon which to develop new policies, Donna Trimble wrote:

Who will be to blame if children are lost? The parents, because they put their faith in the authorities and were unaware they were being kept ignorant of their child’s needs? The teacher and school that hid the child’s struggles from the child’s parents? Or the Alberta Government who voted anti-family Bill 10 into law, and followed up with such a dangerous guideline to isolate children from their parents?

Call to Action

Parents for Choice in Education (PCE) calls upon all concerned citizens of Alberta. We say enough is enough. Common sense must be returned to our schools.

No teacher (a population already overburdened with a multitude of responsibilities) should be coerced by school policies and the likes of iSMSS to engage in secretive one-on-one conversations with at-risk youth on subjects of a sexual nature.

PCE has consistently asked that legislation be amended to ensure that children are supported to communicate with their parents and work with administrators and teachers within their local schools, to ensure clubs effectively meet the needs of children, are cohesive to the foundation of the school and expand, rather than dangerously narrow, each student’s sources of support.

It is time for loving parents across our province to rise up and engage!

Here are some actions you can take:

  1. Contact Brian Jean and remind him that his job is to represent you, the good families of Alberta, and not the rhetoric of iSMSS and the NDP! Ask that he clarifies or retracts his statement regarding the circumvention of parents (phone: 780.427.1031 and fortmcmurray.conklin@assembly.ab.ca)
  2. ‘Parental Consent is Key’ – Please sign the online open letter and demand a regulatory process for the consent and notification of parents in school when sensitive materials and counselling are offered to your children.
  3. PARENT REQUEST FOR NOTIFICATION – Print and deliver to your child’s school.
  4. PETITION Sign the online petition from Theresa Ng of Informed Albertans which asks one simple question related to the secrecy surrounding Alberta’s curriculum re-write:

To the Minister of Education David Eggen:

Will you assure Alberta parents and taxpayers that iSMSS, along with any associated staff and Directors, are no longer involved in any capacity with the K-12 curriculum re-write or the provision of resources, research or teacher training that is being funded by the Alberta government?

  1. Which Politicians Will Stand Up for Our Children?There are many unanswered questions and we need to contact our elected representatives and urge them to take a strong stand on this issue.
  2. DONATEIn the absence of responsible media willing to spread this important story, we need to be our own clarion call. Please donate to allow PCE to purchase advertising space on billboards, radio and TV to inform parents of the risks their children face in Alberta schools through current policies, legislation and resources.

Remember: Family is the Foundation of a Free Society

No government should be permitted by its electorate to chip away at the parent-child bond, especially when it is that bond that is essential to the care and safety of their precious children.

Family is the foundation of a free society. When families are weakened, free societies are weakened in turn.

It is time for the citizens of Alberta to stand up and protect our most vulnerable youth. In so doing we protect the weakest among us, we strengthen the integrity of Alberta families and we empower our free society on the whole.

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UPDATE: April 4, 2017, 10 pm: Thank you to the many concerned citizens across this province who made your voices heard.  Based on a new Calgary Sun article just published online it appears Brian Jean is now reconsidering his stance on parent notification in schools. We hope the Wildrose opposition will stand strong for families and children going forward and that the citizens of Alberta will be vigilant and vocal in holding our elected representatives accountable.

 

Kenney vs Eggen: Who is outing themselves as “extremist”?

who is revealing themselves as extremist02

Let me get this straight:

Minister of Education David Eggen funds and recommends a resource for vulnerable children who attend Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs).  For months that resource included many links directing K-12 children to sexually graphic material, including advertisements for sex toys, graphic images of BDSM and advice to “pay for porn.”

Newly elected leader of the Progressive Conservative party, Jason Kenney, makes the following comments as part of a media interview yesterday :

“parents have a right to know what’s going on with their kids in the schools”

“I don’t think it’s right to keep secrets from parents about challenges their kids are going through”

“the system should start with the presumption that most parents are caring – not with the presumption that they cannot be trusted.”

And what is the Minister of Education’s response today to Jason Kenney’s comments?

The Minister of Education David Eggen re-posts an extremely controversial Facebook note from the summer and states in today’s preamble that:

 “With the comments Jason Kenney has made, he is effectively outing himself… as an extremist.”

Excuse me?

So we have an Education Minister who:

– offers no public apology for the fact that his department funded and recommended a website that led children to sexually graphic material

– offers no public assurances that those who recklessly and incompetently organized a website directing K-12 children to sexually graphic material are not still being employed by Alberta Education for teacher training, resources and CURRICULUM re-write

– still has not ensured that all the sexually graphic material has been completely removed from the GSA Network website (I’m watching and waiting to see how long that takes).

And, after all that, now David Eggen has the audacity to say that those who advocate for parental involvement in their children’s lives are “extremist”?

No, Minister Eggen. I’m afraid you have it all wrong.

It’s certainly not Jason Kenney who is being revealed as the extremist.