Target: Superintendent of Edmonton Public School District, Darrel Robertson
Goal: Denounce Edmonton Public School District for being discriminatory while teaching sexual education
A complaint filed to the Alberta Human Rights Commission on behalf of a mother and her daughter alleges that the Edmonton Public School District infringed on their human rights by advocating Christian values in a sex-ed program. The school is public, and the family also alleges that much of the information put forth in the program was misleading, inaccurate, and highly discriminatory. The school district should be denounced for its intolerance and for infringing upon students’ human rights.
Emily Dawson was 17 when she enrolled in Career and Life Management (CALM) at McNally High School. The course is mandatory and as the course title suggests, it is meant to prepare students for life outside of high school. The school requires the parents to sign permission slips allowing their children to be taught anything relating to sex, sexual orientation, and religion. This also allows the child to be exempt from such classes. While Emily’s mother, Kathy Dawson, signed this permission form, she was shocked to find a text from her daughter claiming that their instructor was an anti-abortion activist from American-based Pregnancy Care Center.
Emily states that the instructor slut-shamed women, called the men “horn-dogs,” and criticized single-parent families. When a classmate posed a question about same-sex relationships, the instructor claimed that she was not here to discuss that issue. Upon hearing about the instructor’s teaching methods, Kathy wanted to withdraw her daughter from the class, but couldn’t do so without her daughter receiving an academic penalty. Kathy instead decided to sit in during the next class session, and stated that while Jesus or God was not mentioned, the heavy emphasis on chastity until marriage, negative outlook on divorce, and opposition against abortion are Christian ideals.
Their complaint alleges that the instructor claimed that 60 percent of boys carry HPV under their fingernails, gonorrhea can kill you in three days, and girls should dress modestly to not garner attention from boys. With the human rights complaint filed, it is a matter of time before the commission can review it. Such inaccurate and discriminatory information should be denounced, and you can make your opinions known by signing this petition.
Dear Superintendent Darrel Robertson,
Recently, a mother and daughter filed a complaint to the Alberta Human Rights Commission when the daughter felt that her humans rights were being infringed upon during a mandatory high school course. A class session in sex-ed offended the student, and the instructor now stands accused of being discriminatory and giving the class inaccurate data about sexually transmitted diseases. The mother also believes that the instructor was advocating Christian values in a public school.
I am writing to denounce your district for allowing such an educator into your school system. Your district realizes that sex, sexual orientation, and religion are touchy subjects, and as such it would be logical to ensure that educators are objective when teaching students. I cannot believe you would allow such a person to shame teenagers in this way, and spread inaccurate information. The information provided to students should be based in fact, not religion.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: robertelyov via Flickr