EXCLUSIVE via LifeSiteNews.com:
EDMONTON, Alberta. Under Alberta’s new Education Act, homeschoolers and faith-based schools will not be permitted to teach that homosexual acts are sinful as part of their academic program, says the spokesperson for Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk.
“Whatever the nature of schooling – homeschool, private school, Catholic school – we do not tolerate disrespect for differences,” Donna McColl, Lukaszuk’s assistant director of communications, told LifeSiteNews on Wednesday evening.
“You can affirm the family’s ideology in your family life, you just can’t do it as part of your educational study and instruction,” she added.
Reacting to the remarks, Paul Faris of the Home School Legal Defence Association said the Ministry of Education is “clearly signaling that they are in fact planning to violate the private conversations families have in their own homes.”
“A government that seeks that sort of control over our personal lives should be feared and opposed,” he added.
The HSLDA and other homeschooling groups warned this week that the new Alberta Education Act, which was re-tabled by Alison Redford’s Progressive Conservative government on Feb. 14th to replace the existing School Act, threatens to mandate “diversity” education in all schools, including home schools.
Section 16 of the new legislation restates the current School Act’s requirement that schools “reflect the diverse nature” of Alberta in their curriculum, but it adds that they must also “honour and respect” the controversial Alberta Human Rights Act that has been used to target Christians with traditional beliefs on homosexuality. ‘School’ is defined to include homeschoolers and private schools in addition to publicly funded school boards.
McColl emphasized that homeschoolers were already included in the current definition of ‘school’ in the School Act, going back to 1988 or longer. And Section 16, she said, “is specifically with regards to programs, courses, and instructional materials.”
According to McColl, Christian homeschooling families can continue to impart Biblical teachings on homosexuality in their homes, “as long as it’s not part of their academic program of studies and instructional materials.”
“What they want to do about their ideology elsewhere, that’s their family business. But a fundamental nature of our society is to respect diversity,” she added.
Pressed about what the precise distinction is between homeschoolers’ instruction and their family life, McColl said the question involved “real nuances” and she would have to get back with specifics.
But in a second interview Wednesday evening, McColl said the government “won’t speculate” about particular examples, and explained that she had not yet gotten a “straight answer” on what exactly constitutes “disrespect.” She did say that families “can’t be hatemongering, if you will.”
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