crossFinally Christians and Muslims have something to agree on: They don't want public school teachers teaching their children on matters that go against the teachings of their respective religions -- topics ranging from homosexuality and birth control to evolution and global warming.
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In Ontario, Canada, newly passed Bill 13 promotes diversity and acceptance in an attempt to curb bullying. Punishing bullies used to be sufficient, but apparently not anymore. Now our kids need to be taught about sex -- both homosexual and heterosexual -- to avoid hurting anyone's feelings.
Here's a concept: Why not teach kids to respect all people, regardless of their skin color, gender, religion, or parental status? Why all of a sudden do kids need to be taught about sexuality, environmentalism, and religion (but not Christianity! Never Christianity) in order to play nice?
Back to Ontario and this Bill 13. Many parents have complained about the new policy, and have asked that they be notified when the controversial subjects will be taught in class, so that they may exempt their children from those sessions.
One parent, Steve Tourloukis, says:
I'm not an extremist, but I must ensure that my children abstain from certain activities that may include lessons which promote views contrary to our faith.
Tourloukis is suing the Hamilton school board for their refusal to communicate with him before his elementary aged son and daughter were taught in the classroom about "family, marriage, and human sexuality." He is supported by the Parental Rights in Education Defense Fund.
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Parents absolutely should have a right to notification and an option to withdraw their children from controversial teaching. Teachers' rights to teach do not supersede parents' rights to parent, and their wishes should be respected. After all, we're the ones that are raising them -- from diapers to graduation caps; it's parents that do the heavy lifting. When they turn 18 and go out into the world, they can complain to their therapists that mom and dad wouldn't let them stay in class to hear how fish are more important than people, or how lesbians do it.
The state does not know how to raise our children better than we do, and the implication that they do is insulting. Kids don't have to be taught about homosexuality in order to be nice to the kid with two mommies or two daddies. Kids rarely care about that stuff anyway. Let parents decide how much they want to tell their kids about alternative lifestyle choices.
While they're at it, they should teach their kids to be kind to everyone, no matter what their families look like.
Image via Glen's Pics/Flickr
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