Homosexual Couple Sues B.C. School Board for Not Offering Pro-Homosexual Course

The same B.C. homosexual couple that was handed the task of developing and implementing a homosexual curriculum in the province’s schools, which includes a policy nullifying a parents right to opt their children our of such courses, has filed a human rights complaint against the Abbotsford School District for its refusal to offer one of the couple’s “social justice” courses in the 2008-2009 school year.
According to Canadian Business Online, Murray and Peter Corren have filed a representative complaint on behalf of a number of the students and parents of the district, saying they have been discriminated against for not being offered the pro-homosexual course Social Justice 12.  The Correns say the school board has let the religious views of parents dictate what is being taught to their children in the schools.In 1999 the Correns filed a human rights complaint against the B.C. Ministry of education, alleging that the Ministry’s curriculum didn’t adequately “address issues of sexual orientation.” Subsequently the Ministry made a settlement with the Correns in the form of a contract that gave the couple an unprecedented level of control over the development of the province’s revamped, pro-homosexual curriculum. Under the Correns’ direction, a host of new and redesigned courses – including Social Justice 12 – in various subject areas that include positive portrayals of “alternative sexualities” have been introduced in B.C.

The first draft of Social Justice 12 was presented to Abbotsford’s board in December of 2007.  After reviewing the course contents, the board had several reservations about offering it as a course in its high schools and therefore requested the final draft before finalizing their decision.  The Vancouver Sun reported that numerous parents had also called in complaining about the course and its contents dealing with heterosexism, “homophobia,” and sexual orientation.

The board found, among other things, that the course did not articulate adequately “that the teacher has an obligation to ensure that they do not undermine the religious or moral beliefs and cultural practices or norms of families whose children are in their classrooms,” and “that Social Justice 12 may leave the impression that having strong religious beliefs could have a negative affect on social justice issues.” (See full response here: http://eboard.sd34.bc.ca/Attachments/9a15a57f-4657-492b-b5a8-35cdea8b3300.pdf)

The requested final draft was not sent to the board until this August, only weeks before the start of the school year.  Not having an adequate amount of time to review the course, the Abbotsford board decided not to offer Social Justice 12 for the upcoming school year.

According to Abbotsford’s Communication Manager, Dave Stephen, the school district is not alone in its decision not to offer the course this year.

Murray Corren, however, said the issue is not Abbotsford’s refusal to offer Social Justice 12, as each school board dictates which electives they offer.  The problem, said Corren, is that W. J. Mouat Secondary School, a school in the Abbotsford district, had mistakenly included the course in the spring’s 2008-2009 course calendar.  It is the students, and the parents of the students, that signed up for the course that the Correns say they are representing in court.

The Abbotsford school board, however, responds that it foresaw the problem when it occurred and hastened to develop a course to offer as a replacement.  It has the same focus as Social Justice 12, but lacks the material the board originally had issues with.

The Abbotsford board is currently reviewing the final draft of Social Justice 12.

Contact the school board:

Dave Stephen
Manager, Communications,
School District 34 – Abbotsford
604.614.5207 (cell)
604.859.4891 (office switchboard)
e-mail: dave_stephen@sd34.bc.ca
2790 Tims St.,
Abbotsford, BC  V2T 4M7

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