Monday, September 8, 2014

Ontario Catholic Schools Defend Right to Teach Faith to Students

Catholic school leaders in Ontario are defending their right to require students to take religious courses and have them participate in religious activities. The Globe and Mail reported recently that a Catholic school in the province disciplined a teacher who violated directives from the school by telling students that they do not have to participate in the school’s religious curriculum.

The Ontario Superior Court ruled in April that students could be exempted from “any program or course of study in religious education” when parents request the exemption in writing. However, Ontario Catholic schools appear determined to retain their right to instruct their students in the faith. The Catholic schools interpreted the ruling as applying only to public school ratepayers.

The Catholic school board reportedly described the actions of Paul Blake, the teacher who told students they do not have to take religious classes, as “inappropriate”and accused him of “undermin[ing] the vision and mission of the board.” He was given a disciplinary note in his file.  (more...)

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