November 24th, 2017

Parents should be primary educators of children

By Letter to the Editor on October 22, 2016.

Response: “Washroom Accommodation in Schools a nod to the new reality of our times,” Oct. 22

As co-founder of Medicine Hat Parents for Choice in Education and submitter of the Christian School petition I feel obliged to respond. Mr. Mueller claims to represent the Christian moral high ground yet unmistakably engages in mudslinging, misrepresentation and rather poor exegesis revealing more about his own theological biases than about those he attempts to correct. I take offence to unnecessarily linking parental concern for schooling to such a dastardly figure as Donald Trump, as much as I am tempted to compare Mr. Mueller’s character assassination to the Clinton’s treatment of their political enemies. In true Christian charity, I would implore Mr. Mueller to refrain from hate-baiting.

Concern over recent education issues coming from a wide Alberta demographic: the majority of signatures collected were not from Christians. Hundreds came from people on the street who to my knowledge professed no faith. Of those professing faith, many came from the Muslim community. The petitions can thus hardly be dismissed as coming from “the religious right.”

As the Libertarian representative in the upcoming federal byelection I have had tremendous positive response from the Christian community over concerns about federal Bill C-16. If Trudeau Sr., rightfully argued government does not belong in our bedrooms, it is logically inconsistent to agree with Trudeau Jr., that he somehow belongs in Canadian bathrooms. My efforts reflect the views of University of Toronto philosopher Jordan Peterson, who has wisely advised against forcing Canadians to adopt language changes for unwarranted and unscientific reasons. He notes that there is no scientific justification for gender theory or the belief in multiple genders. He views promotion of this view in education as an attack on free speech. And he states wisely that shutting down discourse between opposing views will inevitably lead to violence, which every Christian should wish to avoid.

My involvement has been motivated by MHPSD taking a heavy hand in shutting down the consultative process. I have three disabled children and since the implementation of policy 621 and 622 our children have seen a 13 per cent decrease in funding toward disability programming at the same time as significant expenditures in teacher “inclusivity” training. I was allowed only five minutes to speak in front of the board about complex issues. I submitted a 15-page report which I was advised would be followed up by the board but never was. The board chair then made a public assurance at a meeting in March for an open community forum which was later reneged. This is in addition to the fact that the review process leading up to the passage of Bill 10 by the Rocky Mountain Civil Liberty Association did not allow a single participant from the disabled community. The bill was not unanimously supported. Local MLA Drew Barnes stated he did not support the bill because he had no time to review it. The bill’s passage in two readings in a matter of hours is unprecedented in Alberta history for such complex legislation.

The purpose of the petitions was not to push a “traditional definition of the family.” We promote the view that parents are the primary educators of our children, not the state. We vehemently disagree with the notion of totalitarian states that children need to be “liberated” from their historically most responsible protectors: Their parents.

Most parents don’t see anything broke that needs fixing. The belief in multiple genders has no basis in science or in scripture. As Jesus said in Mark 10:6 “God created them male and female.” Recent studies disprove that there is a higher rate of suicides in faith-based schools compared to the public system. The parents of Medicine Hat Christian School believe we are upholding the teachings of 1 Corinthians 13 in applying godly concern for our children. We are not preventing any family from doing what they consider best. We do not believe that our faith concerns should take a back seat to the latest fad of education or morals.

Sheldon Johnston

Medicine Hat

(The writer is the Libertarian candidate in the Oct. 24 byelection.)

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