3.14.2012

Changes in Alberta's Education Act Could Lead to 'Co-Parenting'

Last month I wrote about the bizarre circumstances Ontario’s Jessie Sansone, the father who was arrested at his daughter’s school because his child drew a crayon picture of her father and a gun.

Included in the array of issues this brought to the surface – personal rights, political correctness run amok – was the role of our educators in relation to parental rights. Throwing flammables on the fire, Waterloo Region District School Board Superintendent of Education Gregg Bereznick said on camera “We do work hand-in-hand with these families because we co-parent, so we hope that we could move forward…”

The backlash was palpable.

Here in Alberta, Alison Redford’s Progressive Conservative government is pushing for changes to the provincial Education Act which, if implemented, could lead to some Jessie Sansone moments of our own.

As Lorne Gunther wrote in the National Post, the changes would remove parents as being recognized as the ‘primary educators’ of our children, and focus that power in the hands of school administrators. Although Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk claims that this is not the intent (I didn’t mean to cut parents out! Honest!), it is obvious that this is a major step towards the ‘co-parenting’ agenda.

I don’t agree with Thomas Lukaszuk on the best of days, but I always thought him to be somewhat intelligent and honest in comparison to his P.C. colleagues. For him to feign ignorance as to the potential consequences of his actions in this matter brings into question his intelligence and his honesty.

As a father, I have had moments of disagreement with teachers from time to time. I’ve written before about Christmas concerts being replaced by ‘Peace celebrations’ at schools. I’ve openly questioned a curriculum that instructed the teaching of only one side of social issues.

A few years back, after being told by my oldest daughter that she was going to have to sit through another classroom viewing of a propaganda film (Fahrenheit 9/11) for the third time in less than half a year, I pulled her out of class for that one day on the basis that there was no alternative viewpoints offered.

That was, and is, my right as a father.

I have long considered our education system to be more about indoctrination and less about actual education. The proposed changes to our Education Act could further entrench these biases and limit a parent’s recourse.

The fact that Redford and Lukaszuk are choosing to use the Alberta Human Rights Act as a basis for this change in education is more than troubling, yet not surprising. It is just the latest in a laundry list of controlling, nanny-state moves Redford has made since being appointed Premier. That Lukaszuk would enthusiastically promote and defend this change is unfortunate. It speaks volumes.

An over-reaching government that attempts to implement and defend ludicrous laws like the .05% drunk driving legislation is one thing. That ‘only’ makes criminals out of the innocent. But when the Redford/Lukaszuk agenda of social engineering reaches our kids to the point of trying to legislate out our natural right and place as our children’s primary educators, they have gone way too far.

It may not be Thomas Lukaszuk’s ‘intention’ to push a flawed bill. It may not be his ‘intention’ to remove parental rights in the area of education. But if it is his intention to make our teachers and school officials ‘co-parents’, he should be honest and admit it.

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His Name Was Steven