It appears to be a requirement for the chair of Toronto’s Catholic District School Board to be able to say a whole lot of nothing. If this is the case, then Angela Kennedy, the new chair of the TCDSB, has met and exceeded that requirement.
CBC News, Toronto reports, “Angela Kennedy, Toronto Catholic school board’s new chair, won’t say ‘gay-straight alliance’”
CBC News included a portion of the text of Kennedy’s interview with Matt Galloway on CBC radio’s Metro Morning:
Galloway: “You have said in past that you have opposed gay-straight alliances. Do you think they belong in Catholic schools?”
Kennedy: “I think that we have supportive programs for students and I think students need to have these supportive clubs.”
Galloway: “Does that include a gay-straight alliance?”
Kennedy: “We have different clubs in all of our schools and our secondary school students benefit from them. We have a mental health strategy.”
Galloway: “I think it’s notable listeners would probably be able to figure out that you’re not saying ‘gay-straight alliance.’ Do you think that gay-straight alliances belong in Catholic schools?”
Kennedy: “Matt, we have supportive clubs in our secondary schools. I think our students are benefiting from them. I hear very good things about the clubs that are running in all of our schools.”
Kennedy avoided answering direct clearly-worded questions about gay-straight alliances in Catholic schools by inserting a non sequitur:
“We have a mental health strategy.”
However, the TCDSB, has a strategy all right: its strategy is to depend on its constitutional right to discriminate, to consult with parents about Ontario’s new health and physical education curriculum, (a curriculum
poisoned supplemented by teaching resource materials from the Institute of Catholic Education) and when all else fails, to allow its chair to distance herself from the comments she made in the past by claiming,
As chair of the board, I represent the corporate board; I don’t represent my own interests.
Kennedy’s “own interests” are a matter of public record:
Kennedy, a registered nurse specializing in diabetes education, has voted against homosexual-activist clubs being permitted in schools, opposed HPV vaccinations in schools, and self-identifies as Pro Life.
Although the CBC News article says “Kennedy’s answers drew criticism from some Metro Morning listeners,” Catholic schools received some support from woefully uniformed commenters:
“Strangely troubled in Toronto” says
Remember though- that catholic taxpayers are paying for their schools.
You don’t pay for my kid’s education, I do. In the same way i don’t pay for the kid in the public system.
These and other people who think that Catholic taxpayers pay for Ontario Catholic schools need to read Canadian Atheist post “Public Funding of Catholic Schools in Ontario.” Commenter jam is wrong; all Ontario taxpayers pay for education. They pay in tax dollars, and these tax dollars pay for a Catholic school system that discriminates against teachers, staff and students and works to resist the laws of the government that funds it.
The Minister of Education and the Ministry of Education are not enforcing government policy in ensuring that GSA clubs be installed in all publicly funded secondary schools. There is currently no enforcement nor accountability process for ensuring that the publicly funded Catholic school system conforms to Ministry of Education policy nor the provisions in the Education Act. Disgraceful. The Institute of Catholic Education [ICE]is permitted by the Ministry of Education to review all Ministry curriculum and policy/directives so that the Catholic system can change the curriculum, etc, to ensure that it conforms to Catholic doctrine. And the public is paying for it. Disgraceful. ICE is controlled by the Ontario Catholic Bishops, Separate school trustees, directors, and OECTA.
In addition to the fact that the Roman Catholic Separate School system is thumbing its nose at the Ministry of Education over the gay-straight alliance issue, there is a related issue that I find annoying.
I object to the fact that I am forced to donate to the Roman Catholic Church. 38% of the education taxes that I (and every other taxpayer in Ontario) pay go to the RC Separate School system whether I/we wish to do that or not. No other church/religious group gets my/our tax dollars. In addition, there is an extra cost to having four education systems. That extra cost is billions of dollars per year. Money that could be spent far more productively in the province.
The solution is obvious – one secular school system with English and French components.
There’s an other issue here that Catholic school boards , across Ontario are thumbing their noses at. That being the right of students to opt out of religious programs. While some have succeeded in enforcing their rights, it always seems to be after a struggle with administrators in these schools to exercise these rights. It’s the law so enforce it!
Why are we still publicly funding this nonsense? I am told it’s 2015.