Halton Catholic School Board’s “Medieval” Practice

by | February 20, 2016

Every time I think the policies of Ontario publicly-funded Catholic school boards couldn’t get any worse I’m proven wrong.

On February 3, the Burlington Post announced,

Effective immediately, students across the Halton Catholic District School Board will recite the Oath of Citizenship at the start of each school day, the only ones in the province to do so, according to an Oakville trustee.

In a letter to the Oakville Beaver, Douglas Knott, “a Catholic ratepayer and retired Catholic school teacher and principal” objects to HCDSB Catholic schools adding the Oath of Citizenship “to prayer as a mandatory part of the day for Catholic students”:

As a Catholic ratepayer and retired Catholic school teacher and principal, I must express my dismay at the resolution of the Halton Catholic District School Board’s to make it mandatory for all students, teachers, and administrative staff to take an oath of allegiance to Canada and its laws at the beginning of every school day.

I’m sure the intentions of the school trustees are admirable and show their love for this country, but I find it insulting to the teachers, students, parents, and grandparents of Catholic school students who quietly practice their patriotism every day without being ordered to do so.

It is doubly offensive to those students (and their parents) who attend publicly-funded Catholic schools and do not yet have Canadian citizenship due to the slowness of government to issue the necessary papers.

Presumably, those students would be excluded from taking the oath.

The citizens of Ontario, religious and non-religious, tolerate the Constitutional rights and privileges that permit the continued existence of Catholic schools in the 21st century despite the failure of the system to recognize, support, and treat with dignity Catholic gay, lesbian, and transgendered teachers and students within the structure of Catholic schools.

I urge the trustees to reconsider and rescind their unfortunate policy decision and to look at supporting the joint efforts of the Ontario Teachers’ Federation and the Ministry of Education’s Digital Citizenship program rather than mandating a medieval practice of pledging fealty on bended knee to the reigning monarch.

Enough said, it’s time to shut down these publicly-funded Catholic school boards.

4 thoughts on “Halton Catholic School Board’s “Medieval” Practice

  1. AtheistsMeow

    Catholicism, (& all the others for that matter) should have gone out of business decades ago!

    I live in a city that had one of the residential schools who took children away from families, & we know many people here who had relatives in it, or came from it themselves. I still wonder why the first nations are still mostly catholic!

    The religions all have a lot to answer for, but am not holding my breath for any of it to occur.

  2. Larry Moran

    My grandchildren attend public school and they are not Canadian citizens. I would be very upset if they were in the Catholic system and forced to repeat the Oath of Citizenship because the oath says that you swear to fulfill your duties as a Canadian citizen and that’s impossible (for now) for my grandchildren due to a stupid law passed by the Harper government.

    However, my American friends who are just here temporarily would be even most upset at a school that forced their American children to swear an oath to the Queen.

    What in the world were those Catholic leaders thinking? (Don’t answer that. We know they don’t think.)

    1. Veronica Abbass Post author

      Larry Moran says

      “However, my American friends who are just here temporarily would be even most upset at a school that forced their American children to swear an oath to the Queen.”

      and Douglas Knott says,

      “Presumably, those students would be excluded from taking the oath.”

      My reading of the answer to the question “Who cannot take the Oath?” on the government of Canada website: http://is.gd/pcPHYv

      “A person shall not take the Oath if they have never met or no longer meet the requirements of the Act for the grant of citizenship. Citizenship will not be granted nor the Oath taken if the person is prohibited from either.” is some students will be excluded/prevented from taking the oath.

      Of course, this means the Ontario Catholic school system can continue with its practise of inclusion/exclusion. The Ontario publicly funded Catholic school system is discriminatory anyway, so the HCDSB has found one more way to discriminate.

  3. fredt

    We are more catholic than the Catholic Church, keeping in mind that catholic approximately means inclusive. The Catholic Church are control freaks, always were and always will be, as evidence above.

    Saying and believing are two separate functions. It is our beliefs that are important as those drive behaviors and personality. Surface agreement, without agreement is possible if we can hold two separate points of view.

    To get through life it will me necessary to agree verbally with lots of idiots. It is often just easier to agree on the surface but not really and carry on knowing more that the control freaks. Just dust it off and carry on.

    Yes, whatever.


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