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Not happy that the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association will take part in the World Pride Parade?

Sign the petition!

Petition - Ontario Catholic Teachers' Union Must Withdraw from Pride Parade - GoPetition


Catholic Parents Demand Teachers’ Union Stay Out of Pride March

TORONTO, April 21, 2014  -

President of the Ontario education group, Parents As First Educators (PAFE), Teresa Pierre, PhD, announced the release of a new petition to Catholic Trustees April 18 to demand the Catholic teachers’ union withdrawal from the upcoming World Pride Parade:

“Parents As First Educators (PAFE) asks Catholics to demand the Ontario English  Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) not officially attend Toronto’s World Pride Parade in June, 2014.  This event is inconsistent with what the Church teaches about homosexuality.  PAFE calls on Catholic voters to sign a petition to their elected representatives, the Trustees, to demand an end to union involvement in the Pride Parade event."

Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto condemned the union’s move in remarks to The Catholic Register on April 17:   

 “This decision shows that they and the OECTA leadership have an inadequate and mistaken understanding of their faith.”

The PAFE petition asks Catholic Trustees to demand OECTA not send Catholic teachers to the parade.  Led by Trustee Sam Sotiropolous, Trustees in Toronto’s English public board, the TDSB, recently brought public attention to the nudity at the Pride March when they introduced a motion to request Toronto police to enforce the city’s anti-nudity laws. 

Pierre says she expects to see the same decisive action on the part of Catholic Trustees:

“Catholic Trustees need to step up and do their part to say the Pride Event is not suitable for families and not supportable for any Catholic organization. The Pride Parade breaks nudity laws and participants promote homosexual activity, instead of sex in marriage, and simulates extreme behavior like sado-masochism, which demeans the roles of men and women in loving relationships.

PAFE expects Catholic Trustees to represent their voters at the board table on this important issue of Catholic union participation at Pride.” 

She says that parents are distressed when the union endorses gay-straight alliances and events such as Pride.  Referring to the Catholic school motto of “home-school-parish unity,” Pierre said

“Parents say to me, ‘How do I explain to my child that they shouldn’t support gay straight alliance clubs and events such as Pride when they hear a different message from the union?  How is this reinforcing the home-school-parish triad in the schools?  How is this supporting the teaching authority of parents?’” 

Pierre said that she continually receives complaints from teachers and parents about OECTA’s failure to recognize the basic Catholic approach toward support of homosexuals:  “Catholics are to support homosexuals, and all unmarried adults, in living a chaste lifestyle.” 

Pierre said Parents As First Educators hopes the union will listen to Catholic voters:  “It’s time for OECTA to reconsider the damage its stands are doing to the Catholic community.  Catholic parents expect a Catholic teachers’ union to support the timeless teachings of the church on marriage and family.”

Educational Conflicts Reveal Need for Stronger Leadership from Catholic Trustees

        
 From Sarah Boesveld, '‘'Pay for it yourself’':  Canadian  Catholics fighting renewed push for single publicly funded  school system," National Post, April 12, 2014 

...Whether or not the wholehearted government support has anything to do with bad memories of Conservative John Tory’s failed bid for power on the platform of funding religious schools, Mr. Gazzola said Catholic organizations are glad to have it.

But there is also a perception Catholic trustees have made risky sacrifices in the changes they have made to maintain strong relationships with government.

Parents have expressed displeasure with “milquetoast trustees” whose cooperation with the provinces has threatened Catholic teaching in schools, said Teresa Pierre, president of an Ontario Catholic parents’ group, Parents as First Educators.

“When trustee elections happen this October, we need to elect Catholic trustees who will use their legal power to say ‘no’ to the government when they overstep their boundaries (as with the Ontario GSA bill, Bill 13) or object to union leadership when they endorse behavior that goes against Catholic teaching,” she wrote in an email to the National Post Friday.

“Catholic beliefs are also being opposed from within the system itself.”

She points to Catholic boards voting to allow HPV vaccinations and Catholic teachers having official representation in the World Pride Parade in June (her group “resents the false appearances it gives about what the Church believes about homosexuality”).

Read more

Montreal Catholic School Fighting for the Right to Teach Ethics and Religiou
Culture in its 
own Jesuit Style

BY Joseph Brean NATIONAL POST

TORONTO, March 23, 2014

Eight years after the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously rejected Quebec’s ban on Sikh kirpan daggers in the classroom, another major test of academic religious freedom comes to Canada’s top court Monday, as a private Catholic boys high school in Montreal fights for the right to teach ethics and religious culture in its own Jesuit style.

Read more

Ottawa Board Withholds Key Letter on Free the Children


BY Peter Baklinski  LifeSiteNews.com

OTTAWA, March 11, 2014


As the Ottawa Catholic School Board defends their partnership with Free the Children and refuses to answer parents’ questions about whether the secular charity distributes contraceptives in the developing world, LifeSiteNews has obtained a letter Free the Children sent to the school board in October admitting one of its clinics does in fact "stock provide contraceptives to patients.”

Read more

Trustees' Association Chooses Problematic Spokesman for Catholic Education Campaign

BY Teresa Pierre

TORONTO, January 28, 2014 

The Ontario Catholic School Trustees Association Catholic (OCSTA) showed poor judgement in its choice of spokesperson for a recent video advertising the strength of Catholic education, said PAFE President, Teresa Pierre.  The video featured Marc Kielburger, a spokesman for the Kielburger charity, Free the ChildrenParents As First Educators President, Teresa Pierre, PhD said important questions remain unanswered about Free the Children's promotion of "reproductive freedom."  

 

The video, which appeared in mid-January, was pulled down from the OCSTA website January 28th, reported the Globe and Mail after outcry from non-Catholic educational and political groups that the ads give the impression that the boards are competing with one another for students.  The Kielburgers distanced themselves from the OCSTA campaign after backlash from public school advocates who objected that public boards are also strong supporters of Free the Children.
 

The video was part of a strategy aimed at shoring up support for the Catholic school system among Catholic voters.  OCSTA chair Marino Gazzola appealed at a Wellington Catholic Board meeting to members of the public gallery to make Catholic schools an issue in the next election, saying Catholic education is under political attack, reported the Guelph Mercury on Jan 13th.

 

PAFE made an official submission to  the Ottawa Catholic board on Sept. 25th to clarify the types of family planning supported in Free the Children's overseas clinics.  The Church opposes contraceptive methods of birth control because they frustrate the procreative good of marriage.  Two of the most popular contraceptive methods-the IUD and the Pill--are additionally abortifacients.  

 

When Free the Children's response to the Ottawa board failed to answer questions on whether it promotes artificial contraception in its clinics, parent Andy Pocrnic renewed the request for the Ottawa Catholic board to demand a clear answer from the charity on January 28, 2014. "Until this group provides full assurance to the Ottawa Catholic board that its clinics respect Church teachings on contraception," said Pierre,  "Ontario Catholic boards and schools should suspend their partnerships with Free the Children." 

 

"The Ottawa Board made a commitment to Catholic taxpayers to endorse groups that promote the aims of the church's social and moral teachings with its partnership policy last spring," Pierre continued.  "The board is expected to be accountable to the electors now."


Fraser Reports: 9 of 10 Top           Is the HPV vaccine safe?

Schools in Thunder Bay Catholic  TORONTO, January 14, 2014 

Results ‘shocking’                     

By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com  Thunder Bay, Feburary 3, 2014

  • The Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board has nine of the city's top-10 elementary schools, according to the latest edition of the Fraser Institute's Ontario elementary school rankings.
    Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com 
    The Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board has nine of the city's top-10 elementary schools, according to the latest edition of the Fraser Institute's Ontario elementary school rankings.


Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board superintendent Omer Belisle admits he was not expecting to see nine Catholic schools listed in the top 10 of the most recent edition of the Fraser Institute’s Ontario elementary school rankings. The report was released Sunday.
The latest annual elementary school rankings show disparity between the city’s two school boards, and at least one Catholic board official calls the results “shocking.”

“I think it’s kind of shocking to have nine out of 10 (top) schools in the city,” Belisle said. “We’re very humbled by that.”    Read more

 The safety of the HPV vaccine was news again on Katie  Couric's morning show December 4th.  Her guests included parents of teens who had suffered severe side effects as well as Dr. Diane Parker, a lead researcher of the Gardisil vaccine who has reservations about the value of the vaccine as a public health strategy. 

Couric also reported on new research from Australia that shows that young women who get the shot are less likely to get regular PAP smears.  Since the shots don't protect against all strains of HPV, these young women risk developing HPV-related cancer. Couric said that skipping annual PAP smears is a "terrible idea."

At the end of 2013 Halton Catholic board allowed public health access to its schools to distribute the HPV vaccine, overturning the board's previous ban on offering the vaccine. Trustee Anthony Danko pointed out that since parental consent isn't required by Ontario law for healthcare decisions for teens over 14 years of age, the board would be opening the door for students to circumvent parental wishes regarding the HPV vaccine. 

If the board had maintained the status quo, those wishing the vaccine would have had to receive it from their doctor or a public health clinic, which would have promoted parent-teen communication on the topic.  

A few weeks later Toronto public health began to advertise that teens over 14 "may sign their own consent form."  

Even parents and guardians  who don't mind their child receiving this particular vaccination should be concerned over this type of direct appeal to children as young as middle school.  Do children really have the medical knowledge and life experience to properly weigh the evidence and appreciate the consequences of such decisions? Parents who want their child to be communicating with them before they consult public health on issues connected to sexuality will be alarmed at this new approach from Toronto public health. 

VIDEO:  December 5, 2013.  Rosemary Mathis wanted to protect her daughter Lauren from cervical cancer and followed her doctor's recommendations to have her vaccinated. But now she believes that decision nearly killed her daughter. 

Ontario Parents Frustrated With Math Curriculum

BY Teresa Pierre
TORONTO, January 14, 2014

Education Minister Liz Sandals announced 4 million in funding for teacher training in math education last week, following December's bad news about declining Canadian student scores on the PISA international math assessments.  "This token gesture is a band-aid solution to problems caused by a flawed curriculum," says PAFE President, Teresa Pierre, PhD.
 
Former Liberal deputy prime minister John Manley was quoted in the Calgary Herald as being "very, very worried" about the declining Canadian math scores.
 
Groups such as WISE (Western Initiative for Strengthening Education) Math target the "discovery based" approach used in many Canadian provinces, which teaches a variety of strategies for problem solving.   According to WISE Math, educators from upper levels of education find that students exiting the new math curriculum don't have reliable computation skills nor can they solve problems efficiently and confidently.   Interestingly, the only province that didn't see a drop in the PISA scores in 2013 was Quebec. Quebec has always relied on a traditional math curriculum, unlike most other Canadian provinces which use what is called "discovery learning" or simply, the "new math."  

Parents in a number of provinces, including Ontario, have called for a return to a back-to-basics reform of Ontario's math curriculum. 

Ontario Unveils $4-million Math Upgrade Plan

BY ADRIAN MORROW, CAROLINE ALPHONSO AND ALLAN MAKI, THE GLOBE & MAIL

TORONTO AND CALGARY, JAN. 08 2014 


Ontario will spend $4-million next year to help teachers upgrade their mathematics skills in a bid to battle the province’s poor test scores, but it will not be overhauling its math curriculum.

The announcement comes as a grassroots movement of parents and educators is pressing provincial governments across the country to make immediate changes to the way math is being taught.

Read more

VIDEO:  Richard Klagsbrun joins Brian Lilley to discuss Minister Sandals band-aid solution to Ontario's math problems


Is the New Math Serving Students Well?

TORONTO, January 8, 2014

Following December's bad news about declining Canadian student scores on the PISA international math assessments, some Ontario parents are calling for a return to a back-to-basics reform of Ontario's math curriculum.


You can sign the petition at change.org here

Here are some helpful articles on how to interpret the significance of the declining scores:  

Why Business Should Worry About Student Math Scores

BY GWYN MORGAN, GLOBE & MAIL
TORONTO, December 15, 2013

...Quebec is the only province where PISA results have held steady since 2003, and like the top-performing Asians, it’s also the province that has shunned discovery learning in favour of basic math drills and scientific facts..

Read more

Our Declining Math Scores are Troubling

BY LICIA CORBELLA, CALGARY HERALD
CALGARY, December 6, 2013

...Overall, Canada ranked 13th in math, down three spots from 2009 and six spots from 2006.

As Alberta Education Minister Jeff Johnson points out, back in 2000, only 32 countries participated in the study, whereas the 2012 study looked at 65 countries — many of them essentially China (Shanghai-China, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Macao-China), which contributed to drop Canada’s ranking. Nevertheless, despite these added nations, Quebec ranked eighth overall, just behind Japan and ahead of Liechtenstein...

Read more

In Defence of Rote Learning

BY ANGELINA CHAPINOTTAWA CITIZEN
OTTAWA,
 December 13, 2013
              

...For the past five years, fewer Ontario students in Grades 3 and 6 have met the provincial standard in math (the latter have dipped six percentage points since 2009). And the big picture is also worrisome. Last week’s OECD assessment of 15-year-olds revealed that for the first time in at least seven years, Canada has dropped out of the top 10 in international math education.

Is this generation simply full of decimal duds? No. The kids are all right. It’s the new-agey math curriculum with its focus on “discovery learning” and “multiple strategies” that has students thinking of rabbits when they should be thinking about fractions...

Read more

Education Department in Hawaii Hiding the Contents of Graphic Sex Education Program 

December 22, 2014  

 

Parents alarmed by reports that schools are piloting a graphic sex education curriculum for middle schoolers in Hawaii have asked Congressman Bob McDermott and Senator Sam Slom to launch an inquiry.  In one lesson children learn about                    same-sex relationships, including about anal and oral sex.  The state has refused to reveal the contents of the program to parents.


According to watchdog.com, McDermott, who has children in the state's public schools, said in a meeting with other concerned parents last week:

They now have chosen to hide this material because they claim to know better than parents and state legislators what material is appropriate for their children and will not tolerate interference with their plans. You, as a parent, are no longer needed or wanted in the loop.

Read more


In Defence of Faith-Based Schools

Catholic system fosters diversity, tolerance and good values

By Richard Shields THESPEC.COM
HAMILTON, Dec 13, 2013 

Is it really time for one school system in Ontario, as local writer Michelle Zimic argued on this page earlier this week?

In fact, we already have a single system, made up of several different systems — linguistic, denominational, and cultural. The single system is represented by the Ontario Ministry of Education, with its funding capacity and regulatory authority.

The Ministry of Education does not have a policy that requires educational outcomes to be "secular" but, rather, a manifold of content and outcomes that are seen as socially valuable. The fact that Catholic systems meet and/or exceed the standards and expectations of the province of Ontario ought, in itself, to be justification for being funded by the government. But the conversation about education ought to go further; and explore the value of diversity and nuance in educational organization.

Read more


Halton Catholic HPV Policy a Blow to Parental
Consent

BY Teresa Pierre 
TORONTO, November 7, 2013 -

Parents As First Educators (PAFE) and many parents with children in Halton Catholic District School Board are
outraged  that board trustees voted 6-2 to overturn the ban on the HPV vaccine to Grade 8 girls at Halton Catholic
schools on Nov.
 
 5th.  “The Board chose to listen to 
 
the spin from vaccine advocates over the wishes of a packed
boardroom of parents,”  said PAFE President, Teresa Pierre, PhD.

“Trustee Morrison wondered aloud why he hadn’t been contacted by Trustees in other boards where parents have
expressed concerns over vaccine side effects.  This completely misses the point,” said Pierre.  “Halton Trustees had
been contacted by hundreds of parents, many of whom took the time to be in the boardroom that evening.  Their input is
what they should be considering, not what other elected officials have to say.”

Pierre added that the legal opinion obtained from the firm Keel Cotrelle spelling out the limits of parental consent over 
minor children’s health care shows that minor children have the final say.  The report says:  “It is likely that most Grade 8
students eligible to participate in the HPV Vaccination Program would be found to have the capacity pursuant to the
Health Care Consent Act, 1996 to independently consent to receiving or not receiving the HPV Vaccination. “Parents
 
             
            
have no way now to ensure that their consent is respected, even if consent forms are used,” said Pierre.
 

Parents Demand School Board Uphold Chastity in 

HPV Vaccine Policy
 
    

BY Teresa Pierre

TORONTONovember 4, 2013 


Parents are demanding that the Halton Catholic District School Board maintain its ban of the HPV vaccine in schools when trustees debate the issue on November 5th.  Parents are upset that Trustees have tried to ram through a measure to allow public health officials to be able to administer the vaccine to girls at school.


Read more


Related - Halton Catholic District School Board to vote on restoring HPV shotsBy: Valerie Hauch, Toronto Star, Mon Nov 04, 2013


Priests for Life Issues Statement Against School 
Sponsorship of HPV Vaccine

The issue of the HPV vaccine is a contentious one because it has to do with sexuality, faith and medical effectiveness.  

There are several concerns with how the HPV vaccine is being currently administered.

     1. The administration of the vaccine is school based. This often means the notification of parents is limited. Parents                         may just assume that because the vaccine is being given at school all concerns have been addressed. The other vaccines for         which parents are responsible or wish their children to have are given outside of the school and thus parents are asked                     for a higher level of informed consent.


Catholic Ethicist Says No Need for HPV Vaccination
Program in Catholic Schools
  

BY Teresa Pierre
TORONTO, October 22, 2013

As Halton Catholic District School Board prepares to vote on Nov. 5 whether to allow public health the ability to include the 
HPV vaccine among shots offered at schools, Dr. Moira McQueen, executive director of the Canadian Catholic Bioethics
Institute, has registered her opposition to schools offering the vaccine.  She states that the vaccine isn't justified from a
 

      

public health perspective on the basis of any epidemic of HPV.

                   

                        “School boards do not NEED to be involved and there is no urgent need, such as a public health threat 

                         like a flu epidemic, for health authorities to use school premises.”


Read more here


HPV Vaccine:  Is it Safe for My Daughter,  Alliance for Life brochure


Adverse Side Effects of HPV Vaccine Reported in India


BY Teresa Pierre
TORONTO, October 21, 2013

Angry citizens have demanded answers from the Indian government about why their daughters are suffering debilitating side effects from trials of the HPV vaccines Gardisil and Cervarix.  A press release from a group of women activists reveals how the pharmaceutical companies that created Cervarix and Gardisil tested their products on unwitting young girls (10-14 years old) in India. 

  

They failed to inform parents about what side effects could be expected, offered the young 

girls no proper follow up, and tried to hide the side effects that came about as a result of the trial.  


Read more


Japanese Government Recalls Recommendation of HPV vaccine due to Health Effects


The Japanese Government discontinued recommending the HPV vaccine because of adverse health effects in June, 2013. 

Catholic Board Under Fire for Policy on HPV Vaccine Distribution

BY Teresa Pierre
TORONTO, October 9, 2013, updated October 16, 2013
        
The Halton Catholic District School Board is experiencing heated pressure to offer the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine at schools, according to an article in the Burlington Post on Oct. 4.  The parents of the Halton Board have yet to be consulted on the policy changes and in the interest of transparency and accountability Parents As First Educators has created a petition to bring parental support for the current Halton HPV vaccine policy to the attention of Trustees.


Please Sign the PAFE Petition Supporting Vaccine Ban


You can make your voice heard by signing our petition opposing the distribution of the HPV vaccine in the Halton Catholic District School Board!  

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/oppose-hpv-vaccine-in-halton-catholic-district-school-board.html

For detailed instructions about how to sign the petition, please click here.   

Ottawa Archbishop to Catholic Schools:  Guests and Partners Must Provide Authentic Catholic Witness
OTTAWA, October 23, 2013 (
LifeSiteNews.com) - As parents in the Ottawa Catholic School Board work to end a pattern of hosting events and speakers at the board that are hostile to the Catholic faith, Ottawa’s Archbishop has echoed the parents’ concerns, warning that if the schools are not “fully Catholic” they risk descending into “demonic worldliness.”                                                                                                                                                               
At the Archbishop’s Benefit Dinner on Oct. 16th, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast urged the schools to choose teachers, guest speakers, and partners who are models of holiness and who fully embrace the culture of life.





Codes of Conduct Used to Silence Critics

BY Teresa Pierre
TORONTO, September 27, 2013
 
Catholic Trustees in Kitchener-Waterloo recently decided Trustee Anthony Piscitelli had violated the board's code of conduct in a Sept. 18 opinion piece in the Waterloo Region Record. They voted 6-2 to remove him from board committees for four months for saying that the board should consider allowing non-Catholics to attend Catholic schools.  Piscitelli is not appealing the ruling. 
 
Canadians should be seriously concerned about a growing trend within local school and municipal boards to use codes of conduct to censor their colleagues' free speech.  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Anthony Piscitelli  
As an op-ed in the Toronto Sun by Brian Kelcey put it:  "even the most frustrated public servant should get it: Candid debate is to democracy as deep water is to a fish." 
 
Despite all the critical public attention given in the past few years to the topic of bullying, politicians still haven't gotten the message that bullying is wrong, whether in the boardroom or on the schoolyard. Shockingly, city councillors in Newmarket recently surrendered their collective authority to determine appropriate meeting conduct and supported a move by the mayor to assume sole jurisdiction.  
 
Councillor Di Muccio observed in the Toronto Sun"This move will seriously limit a member's ability to express an opinion if the Chair decides he doesn't like that member."   The city council in Victoria, B.C. narrowly defeated a similar measure recently.

Kelcey also cites the rough treatment Toronto public school Trustee Josh Matlow received from his peers in 2010 for criticizing lavish spending on a board event.
 
We urge PAFE supporters to support all Trustees' democratic rights to be heard, even if their opinions are unpopular or controversial.  Trustees have not been given the power to punish the legal political views of their colleagues.  We believe that it is entirely the role of the taxpayer to correct their politicians in all matters and of the bishops in Catholic issues.

Parents As First Educators Asks Ottawa Catholic School Board to Review Free the Children

BY Teresa Pierre
TORONTO, September 24, 2013
 
On September 24, 2013 parent Andy Pocrnic from Parents As First Educators told the Ottawa Catholic School Board that Free the Children is an unsuitable partner for Catholic schools.  With the passage of a stricter policy on board partners last spring, it's now the time to examine whether with Free the Children's record on abortion and contraception it passes the litmus test.  Pocrnic said that based on the charity's support of the distribution of abortion and contraception services within developing countries the board should sever its partnership with Free the Children.

Craig and Marc Keilburger's charity, Free the Children has the praiseworthy goal of activating young people to work on behalf of their peers struggling with poverty and crime in developing nations.   No one can argue that teaching children to give to others who have less than they do is of great importance in the "big picture" of Catholic education.  And no doubt they have a PR machine that can't be beat.  Their annual event "We Day" is a star-studded extravaganza that draws in thousands of Catholic students to listen to inspiring stories of young people who are acting as agents of social change. What's not to love?
 
Unfortunately the brothers are also outspoken in their wish to make "reproductive health services," which among activists invariably means contraception and abortion, more commonly available to women in the developing world.
In an opinion piece written Mother's Day, 2011, called "A Mother's Day Manifesto." that ran in the Toronto Star, the brothers famously criticized recent cuts by Stephen Harper's government to International Planned Parenthood
 
And as women in developing countries fight for reproductive rights, our now Conservative majority government is poised to cut funding to International Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides reproductive health services abroad. It's a paternalistic refusal to offer women in Africa the same rights offered to women in Canada.    
                                    
Free the Children's "Mother's Day Manifesto" just doesn't jive with past claims by the charity to be neutral on the topic of abortion. It's time for Ontario Catholic Boards to stop giving a pass to a charity that cannot give an honest yes to the question, "do you support the right to life of the unborn?" 

If you agree that the Ottawa Catholic School Board should stop supporting Free the Children, please write to: 

1) your Ottawa Catholic Trustee. Contact info can be found here.

2)  the Archdiocese of Ottawa 
1247 Kilborn Place 
Ottawa, Ontario K1H 6K9 
Phone: 613-738-5025 
Fax: 613-738-0130 

Letters should be sent before October 2, 2013.    

Why Can't My Child Do Math?                                       
BY TERESA PIERRE

TORONTO, September 16, 2013


Is math homework a nightly struggle in your house? Have you torn your hair out helping your children to solve overly creative math problems? 

If so, it won't surprise you that EQAO, the organization that administers standardized testing for Ontario schools, recently issued a press release stating that in the last five years increasing numbers of students who had done well in math in the primary grades are struggling at the intermediate level (grades 4-6).  What's going wrong? 

Education Minister Liz Sandals blamed teachers and suggested that they should have more training in math.  Sue Ann Levy responded that it should not be beyond the capabilities of anyone who has finished high school math to be able to master and teach primary level math.  And she noted wryly that throwing money at the problem over the last decade, including offering teachers more and more time to prepare lessons, hasn't improved the situation.

A group called WISE math instead targets the "new math" which has served as the foundation of Canadian math curricula since 

Read more


20 Lies the Liberals Told You

BY LORRIE GOLDSTEIN QMI AGENCY
TORONTO, July 27, 2013

...10. “We will bring peace and stability to our schools” — Ontario students have just lived through a year of teacher unrest, including the shutdown of extra-curricular activities, over the Liberals’ belated attempt to rein in teacher salaries and benefits, after nine years of throwing our money at them.

11. “We will ensure there is transparency in public education” — Instead, the Liberals unleashed a controversial sex education curriculum with no warning to ordinary parents. Now we’ve learned Education Minister Liz Sandals doesn’t even read the curriculum documents she signs.

Read more

Related:

Brian Lilley and Jerry Agar, Byline, Absentee Minister Sandals

Educators as a Co-Parent? Nonsense


BY 
,QMI AGENCY                                                                                                                                    
TORONTO, 
 July 9, 2013

The story of Ben Levin underscores why we need to keep curriculum as simple as possible.

Levin is the 61-year-old former deputy education minister for both Ontario and Manitoba who is facing seven counts of child exploitation, including charges of possessing, distributing and making child pornography, and agreeing to or arranging for a sexual offence against a child under 16. His lawyer says he plans to “vigorously defend” the charges.

Just days before the charges were announced I read an essay by Levin in the Literary Review of Canada about improving the education system.

While there has been much ado about Levin’s potential involvement in Ontario’s controversial and subsequently abandoned sex-ed policies, there was none of that in the essay.

But one narrative in the essay underscored how some educators think they should be involved in aspects of a child’s life traditionally outside the core domain of teaching. Levin essentially argues for the expansion of the education system into realms that were once the sole domain of parents:

Read more

 

Parents Shaken By Porn 

Charges Against Wynne's 

Former Deputy Education

Minister 

BY TERESA PIERRE                                                             TORONTO, July 8, 2013

 Benjamin Levin, 61, who served as deputy education minister under Education Minister Kathleen Wynne, was charged Monday with multiple charges of child pornography. Parent advocacy group Parents As First Educators President Teresa Pierre said, “It should be a surprise that any deputy minister of education could be charged with the criminal exploitation of children. But we’re not completely surprised since Wynne’s education ministry hasn’t shown the best judgment about children and education.” 

Levin was deputy minister of education from 2004 to June, 2009 and an advisor on Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne's recent transition team. Charges included making and distributing child pornography, counselling to commit an indictable offence and arranging for a sexual offence against a minor.

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Values Must be Respected

BY MARK D. MULLAN, Chairperson, Board of Trustees, Ottawa Catholic School  OTTAWA CITIZEN                                                   OTTAWA,  July 6, 2013   

Over the past couple of weeks there have been articles online and in mainstream media about the policy review process at the Ottawa Catholic School Board. Our comprehensive policy development process ensures we have policies that reflect the values of our Catholic faith, but also expose students to the reality of our complicated society in a responsible and age-appropriate way. For the record, I would like to clarify a few things: A lot of time goes into developing and revising policies. It is not done in a haphazard manner; the process involves parent, stakeholder and community input.

Once passed, the policies provide guidance for the entire staff and student community; good policy is the foundation of a safe, inclusive and productive school community.

We do expect those who have been invited to speak to our students to respect our values. Our policies are not based on partisanship, nor are they designed as a litmus test of all guests' views on all issues. Instead the policies are designed to reflect the values of our faith, while at the same time exposing our students to the wider world about them.

I want to take the opportunity to thank the many parents, teachers and staff for their thoughtful input into our policies. The new and revised policies that came to the board on June 11 and June 25 were passed unanimously by the 10 elected trustees whom I represent. 

Former Wynne Adviser, U of T prof Benjamin Levin Facing Child Porn Charges

BY ANGELA HENNESSY, QMI AGENCY                                             TORONTO, July 8, 2013

Police have charged a University of Toronto professor and a former member of Premier Kathleen Wynne's transition team with child pornography offences.

Benjamin Levin, 61, a tenured faculty member at the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), was arrested Monday after an investigation that went as far as England and New Zealand.

He is charged with two counts of child pornography distribution, and one count each of the making of child porn, counselling to commit an indictable offence and arrangement of a sexual offence against a child under 16.

Levin -- a former deputy education minister in Manitoba -- served as adviser to the Wynne government from January until June 12, 2013.

In a CP24 video from the recent PRIDE celebration, Levin is seen sitting beside federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Premier Kathleen Wynne and former federal Liberal interim leader Bob Rae.

Read more

Jerry Agar interviews Teresa Pierre July 9

Victory for Parents at Ottawa Catholic School Board

July 4, 2013 21:08 BYLINE, SUN NEWS NETWORK


Brian Lilley explains how one example of the Ottawa Catholic School Board shows that parents are sick of what’s going on in schools, but they can change it, all they have to do is fight back.

Watch video

Related-

Kelly Egan, Ottawa Citizen, No 'scandal' in Trudeau's talk at publicly funded Catholic school board

Chris Selley, National Post, Trudeau spat hints at manifest unsuitability of public catholic school system in 21st century

Justin Trudeau’s Visit to Orleans School, Other ‘Scandals’ Prompt Revision to Ottawa Catholic School Board Policy

BY NECO COCKBURN
OTTAWA CITIZEN
OTTAWA,
 
July 3, 2013                                                                                                                                                            


Parents concerned about “scandals” such as federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s visit to a Catholic elementary school appear to have spurred a policy review by their school board.

But a revised Ottawa Catholic School Board policy that calls for partnerships to be directed by “moral teaching” doesn’t go far enough to ensure that speakers such as Trudeau — who supports same-sex marriage and has said a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion is a “fundamental right” — are vetted before being brought into schools, some parents say.

The policy was changed this month to state that partnerships and sponsorships with individuals, parish and community groups, business, industry and government “shall be forged to ensure respect for the distinctive nature of Catholic education and adherence to the Roman Catholic tradition.”

Such relationships also are to be directed by the board’s philosophy, vision statement and “Catholic Social and Moral Teaching,” the policy now says.

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Catholic Liberal Leader's Speeches at Catholic Schools Expose Students to Influences Contrary to Catholic Social and Moral Teaching


BY DEBORAH GYAPONG 
(CCN)
OTTAWA, Friday, 21 June 2013


While Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's speaking fees going to charities are raising controversy, many Catholic parents would rather he did not speak at Catholic schools even for free.

At the June 11 meeting of the Ottawa Catholic School Board trustees, several ratepayers raised concerns a new policy on what they call "partners" would not ensure Trudeau, a Catholic with views in favour of abortion and so-called "gay marriage," would be prevented from speaking.

"Partners" refers to people such as speakers who work with schools.

"I'm very disappointed in the trustees of the Ottawa Catholic School Board," said Teresa Pierre, president of Parents as First Educators (PAFE), who flew from Toronto for the meeting.

"The concerns of parents have been made clear to them for the past few months," she said. "They have failed to respond by giving a policy that would assure them their children are being looked after, having their spiritual lives protected as much as their physical lives are protected."


Read more

Ottawa Catholic Parents Achieve Commitment from Board to Pursue Partnerships that Respect Catholic Faith 

BY TERESA PIERRE
OTTAWA, June 11, 2013

        Ottawa Catholic ratepayers achieved a stronger policy statement that "Catholic and social and moral teaching" will direct partnerships in the Ottawa Catholic board at a meeting of the board June 11 PAFE President said "This evening parents gained a policy that will help to ensure that board partnerships respect fundamental teachings of the Church on social and moral issues.  We could have wished for clearer vetting procedures to ease the administrative process for everyone and to better reduce the possibility of problematic partner choices slipping through, but this policy is a step in the right direction."

         Archbishop Prendergast reportedly recommended the language about choosing partners who respect "Catholic and social moral teachings"  in a meeting with the Director of Education.  Staff also reported that principals have already been informed of the importance of choosing partners that don't contravene Catholic teaching.  

        A few dozen hardy ratepayers were in the gallery along with Catholic journalist and author Deborah Gyapong.  Parent Gillian Keenan gave a phenomenal speech thanking the committee for the improvements the policies offered but requesting a proper vetting procedure for administrators.  PAFE representative, Bruce Clark, pressed the same point, making the argument that such procedures have been used elsewhere to prevent churches and schools from hosting well-known critics of church beliefs. Prior to the board meeting PAFE had also provided the board with a report containing statements testifying to the ease with which such a procedure could be implemented.  He also asked for a clearer statement that those who have spoken out on contentious topics in the past not be allowed to speak in the schools, even on neutral topics.  Three other parent delegates, including a retired police officer, pleaded eloquently with the board to amend the policies to include a vetting procedure.
         The field trips policy was mildly improved to say that "Field trips and excursions will be linked to the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations (CGE's) and the distinctive culture of Catholic curriculum."

         Clark suggested amendments to the policies, but to the disbelief of onlookers, Trustees failed to engage them in any debate whatsoever. Questions from Trustees were directed mainly to staff about the resources they had drawn on in writing their policies.  Trustee Butler asked whether there are existing vetting procedures for speakers.  Staff said yes, but they don't contain any mention of fidelity to the faith. Trustee Butler asked Clark whether he didn't think that you could gain something valuable from hearing anyone speak.  Clark spoke for the majority of the onlookers present when he disagreed in the case of children, saying that "some things are just morally evil.  Is it wise to bring them into the schools?"  He also spoke of the danger of appearing to lend moral support to politicians who have been openly hostile to church teachings.

Read more

Canadian Parents Think Parents Should be In Charge of Sex Education

BY TERESA PIERRE  
TORONTO, June 3, 2013    
                                                                                                     
The Ontario Physical Health Education Association (OPHEA) called on the province June 3 to resurrect the dormant sexual education curriculum that was shelved in 2010 after outcry from parents.  President of Ontario Catholic parent group, Parents As First Educators, Teresa Pierre, said, "This call appeared to be coming from a group of activists who don't reflect the attitudes of Canadians as a whole.  Poll after poll shows that parents want to transmit their personal beliefs about sex to their children.  An Angus Reid poll from 2011 showed that only 24% of Canadians thought that sex-education should begin at young ages under nine--less than a quarter--which means that 76% of parents oppose instruction in these subjects in the early primary years.  Sex education should be limited to nuts and bolts discussions just as in the current curriculum."


The OPHEA press conference at Queen's Park announced the results of a new poll from Environics stating that "the vast majority" of parents think that subjects from the scientific names for body parts, to contraception, healthy relationships, and abstinence should be addressed in schools. The poll also showed that ninety-six percent of those surveyed listed parents as the preferred source of information on sex education.  As much as the sponsors of the conference said that the revived curriculum would be about facts and not morals, a large number of topics ascribed to the curriculum have a moral component.   Recalling that parents rejected this same curriculum in 2010, Pierre said she expects that “the large majority (76%) of parents who opposed radicalizing the primary school curriculum in 2011 will again oppose further sexualization of children in the years traditionally described as ‘sexually latent.’”  

 OPHEA formed a coalition with numerous other groups such as parent group People for Education to make the announcement.  Noting the coalition’s desire to address problems raised by student access to the internet and social media, Pierre said "Simply adding a component on internet awareness for use by schools that are not already teaching about this could be done and would not require overhauling the whole curriculum.”  

Parents are not likely to appreciate having their parental influence over-ridden by the promotion of sexual attitudes at odds with family beliefs at school.  Notable by their absence was any Catholic group in support of the OPHEA coalition.  Toronto Catholic School Board Trustees reflected their community's discomfort with the promotion of homosexuality within the curriculum by the Accepting Schools Act last month when they proposed banning Gay-Straight Alliances.   Members of the Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Hindu and Jewish faiths who opposed the 2010 sex education proposal and the passage of Bill 13 will be unlikely to support it now.  


LIFESITENEWS.COM

York Catholic Board Apologizes for School Raising Money for Pro-Abortion Group CARE

BY PETER BAKLINSKI, LIFESITENEWS
AURORA, Ontario, June 3, 2013



An Ontario Catholic school board has told LifeSiteNews.com that it is working with the Toronto archdiocese to find “appropriate” funding partners, after being confronted with the fact that one of its schools was raising money for the social justice group CARE. Among other things CARE is known to promote and/or provide abortion, sterilization, and contraception in developing countries as part of its "sexual and reproductive health" advocacy.

Drama, Religion, and History students at St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic High School in Aurora participated in the “One Million Bones” project to raise awareness of ongoing genocides 

and mass atrocities in third world countries. Each bone handcrafted by the students generated a one dollar donation towards CARE. 

"Effective programming in sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is a vital component of CARE's work to reduce poverty and social injustice. Improving SRH and addressing the unmet need for family planning are central to CARE's commitment to poverty reduction and gender equity."However, CARE does not keep secret its promotion of what pro-life leaders call the “Culture of Death” to the developing world. It states on its website: 

Read more

Parents Group Disappointed Toronto Catholic Trustees Fail to Ban Gay Straight Alliance Clubs

TORONTO, May 24, 2013

School Trustees Garry Tanuan and John Del Grande proposed a motion to ban Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) anti-bullying clubs and support a Catholic club model called “Respecting Difference. This motion was defeated at a Toronto Catholic Board meeting on Thursday May 23 2013. President of the Catholic parent group, Parents As First Educators (PAFE), Teresa Pierre, Ph.D. says: “Parents, staff and lawyers have been concerned that Bill 13 was an unconstitutional infringement on the rights of Catholics in Ontario. PAFE is disappointed that this effort to make sure students are given a solution to bullying which is reasonable and constitutional was defeated.”

Voting for the motion were Garry Tanuan, John Del Grande, Angela Kennedy and Patrizia Bottoni.  Ann Andrachuk, Sal Piccininni, Maria Rizzo, Jo-Ann Davis, Barbara Poplawski and Nancy Crawford voted against it.  Frank D'Amico was absent from the vote.

“Respecting Difference” is a club template proposed by the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association in consultation with the bishops. Unlike GSAs, these clubs will not promote views of the person that undermine Catholic teachings on marriage, family, and the sanctity of life.

Tanuan’s motion offered principals safeguards for their conscience rights. Pierre continued, “The trustees failed this evening to recognize that Bill 13 requires principals, other staff and students to act against their Catholic beliefs by forcing them to host GSA clubs in their schools. On behalf of many Catholic parents and ratepayers in Toronto and across Ontario, I am surprised and disappointed in the majority of the Catholic trustees who failed to protect the Constitutional rights of Catholics tonight.”

Pierre says courts across the country have recognized that no Charter right can infringe on the denominational rights of the schools. In Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Assn. v. Ontario (2001), the Supreme Court of Canada held that section 93 of the Constitution was “absolute in its protection of denominational rights.”

As the stewards of the denominational rights of the schools, Trustees have the authority to adjust any provincial law through a Catholic lens. “Since the provision of Bill 13 requiring GSAs is unconstitutional, then the Trustees had the responsibility tonight to step in to amend provincial law for the Catholic school context,” she said.

“’Respecting Difference’ clubs are designed to support the constitutional rights of all students in the Catholic board. Our supporters expected the trustees in Toronto to make sure the unconstitutional forcing of GSAs on our Catholic schools was fixed by mandating ‘Respecting Difference’ clubs for all bullying problems. Our supporters are unhappy with the trustees who failed to do their duty tonight to protect Catholic education,” concluded Pierre. 

Catholic Parents Support Trustees Defending Denominational Rights

TORONTO, May 17, 2013

            School Trustees Garry Tanuan and John Del Grande proposed a motion to ban Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) anti-bullying clubs and support a Catholic club model called “Respecting Difference” at a Toronto Catholic board meeting April 25th.  President of the Catholic parent group, Parents As First Educators (PAFE), Teresa Pierre, Ph.D. says:  “Parents, staff and lawyers have been concerned that Bill 13 was an unconstitutional infringement on the rights of Catholics in Ontario.  PAFE supports this effort to make sure students are given a solution to bullying which is reasonable and constitutional.”

“Respecting Difference” is a club template proposed by the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association in consultation with the bishops.  Unlike GSAs, these clubs will not promote views of the person that undermine Catholic teachings on marriage, family, and the sanctity of life. 

Tanuan’s motion will offer principals needed safeguards for their conscience rights. Pierre continued, “It is unjust that Bill 13 requires principals, other staff and students to act against their Catholic beliefs by forcing them to host GSA clubs in their schools.” 

Pierre says courts across the country have recognized that no Charter right can infringe on the denominational rights of the schools. In Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Assn. v. Ontario (2001), the Supreme Court of Canada held that section 93 of the Constitution was “absolute in its protection of denominational rights.” 

 As the stewards of the denominational rights of the schools, Trustees have the authority to adjust any provincial law through a Catholic lens.  “Since the provision of Bill 13 requiring GSAs is unconstitutional, then the Trustees have the responsibility to step in to amend provincial law for the Catholic school context,” she said.

 “’Respecting Difference’ clubs are designed to support the constitutional rights of all students in the Catholic board. Our supporters expect the trustees in Toronto to make sure the unconstitutional forcing of GSAs on our Catholic schools is fixed by mandating ‘Respecting Difference’ clubs for all bullying problems. Those who disagree can sue, but we are confident the courts will continue to support the constitutional right to an authentic Catholic school system in Ontario,” concluded Pierre. 

Parents Group Supports Toronto Catholic GSA Ban

TORONTO, May 1, 2013

            School Trustees Garry Tanuan and John Del Grande proposed a motion to ban Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) anti-bullying clubs and support a Catholic club model called “Respecting Difference” in Toronto Catholic schools at a board meeting April 25th.  President of the Catholic parent group, Parents As First Educators (PAFE), Teresa Pierre, Ph.D. says:  “PAFE thinks this measure will combat bullying while still respecting the faith concerns of Catholic schools.  PAFE supports this bid to restore Catholic school rights which have been brushed aside by Bill 13.


text of Trustee Tanuan's motion
Sign the petition to ban GSAs at the Toronto Catholic District School Board

In the press:
Jerry Agar interviews PAFE President, Teresa Pierre, on the Tanuan motion to ban GSAs in Toronto Catholic schools for Newstalk 1010

Graphic Safe-Sex Poster Ends up on Wall of Toronto Middle School Classroom

BY ANTONELLA ARTUSO, Toronto Sun 
TORONTO, May 7, 2013

Explicit sexual material posted in a Toronto classroom was "totally inappropriate," Education Minister Liz Sandals says.

As revealed by QMI Agency, an occasional teacher at Delta alternative school pinned up brochures meant to advise gay bar and bath house patrons on safe sex procedures.

"Clearly, from what was described in the media, the materials that were being used are totally inappropriate and are in no way connected to the Ontario health and phys ed curriculum," Sandals said Tuesday. "The reason we put a lot of effort into reviewing and defining curriculum is so that teachers in fact do have quite a specific direction.

Related:  Video:  Faith Goldy and Brian Lilley discuss inappropriate teaching in Toronto schools

                Brian Lilley criticizes Chair of Toronto District School Board, Chris Bolton, for not insisting explicit material shouldn't be taught.

Middle School Girls Forced to Ask Classmates for ‘Lesbian Kiss’ During Anti-Bullying Presentation

BY HEATHER CLARK, Christiannews.net
RED HOOK, New York, April 21, 2013

A recent anti-bullying presentation at a middle school in New York that focused on homosexuality and gender identity has angered parents after their daughters have come home to tell them they were forced to ask another girl for a kiss.

According to reports, the session occurred last week at Linden Avenue Middle School in Red Hook, New York, near Poughkeepsie. A group of students from Bard College led two workshops for the youth, separated by gender.

During the workshop for girls, the 13 and 14-year-olds were told to ask one another for a lesbian kiss. They were also taught words such as “pansexual” and “genderqueer.”


AP News Service Abandons the Term "Homophobia"

TORONTO, April 8, 2013

        Recently the AP news service abandoned the term "homophobia" altogether because of its lack of clarity. The organization says it unfairly captures people with principled opposition to same-sex sexual acts but who don`t hate homosexuals.  
 
       The AP organization suggested the use of the alternate term "homosceptic."  But this term presents identical problems.  Does this mean that someone is skeptical about homosexuality?  PAFE asks instead:  why try to invent a one-word piece of slang to express a complicated moral statement?  It's an impossible task. 

        Perhaps a clear statement that someone has traditional moral objections to homosexual sex is really unavoidable.


 Chapters/Indigo Pulls Pornographic Material from Website

TORONTO, April 8, 2013

        Edmonton parent Shawn Drefs approached us for help after his concerns about soft porn books on the Chapters/Indigo website were brushed off by customer relations.  Shawn wrote in frustration that any child could accidentally call up obscene images when shopping at the site. After we recommended that he inform them that he intended to take the matter public Chapters/Indigo removed the titles from their website.
 
        Thanks, Shawn, for your great email:

Hi Teresa - thank you so much for the information you sent me. I re-contacted Chapters/Indigo using some of the info you sent and they are removing the content from their website.  Whether or not the reason stated in their response to me below is true I am grateful that the content has been removed. Thanks again for your help just wanted to let you know.  Have a wonderful Easter weekend.

Shawn Drefs

        The regulatory situation on the selling of pornographic material in Canada is looser than in the US.  Here the focus has been on government-facilitated industry self-regulation.  Until those regulations are tightened, this kind of parental pressure on individual companies will be necessary.  Kudos to Shawn for his persistence.

Yukon Education Minister Forbids Catholic Schools from Teaching Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality

By ASHLEY JOANNOU, Whitehorse Daily Star
Whitehorse, Yukon March 20, 2013
 
Vanier Catholic Secondary School's Policy on gay students must be changed to meet Yukon human rights laws, says Educaiton Minister Scott Kent.

In an open letter to Bishop Gary Gordon of the Catholic Episcopal Corp. of Whitehorse, the minister writes that the "policy is inconsistent with and does not meet all of the requirements of Yukon Education's policies and likely other laws in force in the Yukon such as the Human Rights Act, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and other case law on equality rights."


Jewish, Sikh, Muslim and Christian Leaders Protest Manitoba Anti-bullying Bill

Steve Lambert,  National Post
Toronto, March 15, 2013

More religious leaders have joined opposition to Manitoba's proposed anti-bullying law, saying religious schools must not be forced to accommodate groups that promote equality for gays and lesbians.
"Orthodox Judaism believes in the sancity of the Bible that rejects homosexuality, as do other great religions," reads a letter to Premier Greg Selinger by Rabbi Ayrohom Altein of Winnipeg.  

"It would be the height of intolerance to ban a religious group from teaching and practising as it believes."


Minnesota Archdiocese Protests Anti-Bullying Bill

From the Minneapolis/St. Paul Archdiocese blog, THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT

Same-sex ‘marriage’ is just the beginning

BY JASON ADKINS
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL MARCH 15, 2013 

By the time you read this column, legislation to redefine marriage (HF 1054/SF 925) will likely have been passed out of committees in both the Minnesota House and Senate, and sent to the floor of each chamber, where it could receive a full vote at any time. (Have you called or visited your elected officials?)...

Prevention of school bullying or re-education camp?

Much ink has been spilled inside and outside the Church critiquing the irrationality of this false movement of liberation.

Irrational ideas cannot subsist in a true marketplace of ideas. Criticism must be shut down or the Big Lie will be exposed.

This is plainly the case in the context of the marriage debate, where intimidation and name calling are used in the social sphere to silence people (or churches). If marriage is redefined, the coercion of silence will enter the legal sphere, where real penalties will befall those so-called “bigots” who “discriminate” by clinging to the traditional definition of marriage.

But it will not end there. In fact, the schools are the ideal place to foster this new regime of “tolerance,” and forcefully suppress any bad thoughts or “hate” speech that may emerge.

Enter HF 826/SF 783, the “Safe and Supportive Schools Act,” which is being sold as a measure to combat school bullying.


Fraser Report:  More Top Performing Schools Catholic

Excerpt from  "Trustees Could Learn Something from Fraser Study," 

TheRecord.com, Luisa D'Amato
Waterloo, Ontario February 21, 2013

As education reporter for many years at this paper, I always found it interesting that Catholic schools often outperformed their public counterparts in standardized tests.

And once again, seven of the top 10 schools in the region are Catholic schools, according to the Fraser report, even though there are fewer Catholic schools overall.  Nine out of the 10 poorest performing schools in the region are public schools.

The public school trustees would routinely look for explanations outside their control, claiming that public schools attracted more immigrant students who are learning English. Or they might claim that the public board had better special education programs and therefore attracted more learning-disabled students, which skewed the results.

But look at the data and it's not so simple.  Take a look at two schools in Preston--Preston Public School and St. Joseph Catholic School.

Not one of these two schools had any students surveyed who were designated as immigrant learning English.  Parental incomem was $88, 700 at Preston, and $60, 400 at St. Joseph.   Preston had 20 per cent special-need students and St. Joseph 25 per cetn.

Yet St. Joseph, with its lower-income parents and higher level of special needs - was ranked 8 out of 10.  It was 313th among the 2,714 schools in the province.

Preston was ranked an unimpressive 4.6 out of 10 and stood at 2148th out of 2714.

If I were a parent living there, I'd want to know what St. Joseph was doing that Preston could be doing.  I'd want officials to stop posturing and start asking serious questions.

Instead of dismissing the valuable research of the Fraser Institute, the school board administrators and trustees should be poring over it.

Catholic Schools Succeed to the Extent They Maintain Religious Identity:  Expert

Wall Street Journal, Cardinal Timothy Dolan
Toronto, February 21, 2013

In an article for the Wall Street Journal from January 31, 2013, Cardinal Timothy Dolan quoted US education expert Diane Ravitch, "To me, and I am not Catholic, the success of Catholic schools depends on maintaining their religious identity, that is, keeping the crucifixes in the classrooms as well as the freedom to speak freely about one's values."


Think Tank Wonders Just What IS Wrong with Canadian Schools?

Ottawa, February 18, 2013

Brian Lilley features a five-part series on his show, Byline, about what's wrong with Canadian schools, called "Common Sense Education" produced by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy and the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies.

Part I:  What's wrong with Canadian schools?
Part II:  No zero policies
Part III:  Flaws in the New Math

Parents Question Approach of Brampton Parents Suing for Exemptions from Religious Education Classes

TORONTO, February 17, 2013

A parent in Brampton is suing his Catholic school board to allow his child to be opted out of religion classes at his Catholic high school.

Parents have responded that removing a child from religion class won't alleviate the problem of a child's exposure to the faith at the school.  Parent Mary Rebello spoke to the Toronto Observer saying  "I was following it on the news and I don't really understand how if a Catholic school is really Catholic, even if you end up opting out of religion class you can't opt out of the Catholicity of the school because it's there. 

From my experience having attended Catholic school, it's in everything, it's not something that ends when you go into the door of math class...it's a way of living and looking at life."


Kathleen Wynne Says She Will Bring Back Sex-Ed Curriculum

TORONTO, February 3, 2013

Kathleen Wynne stunned parents this week by announcing at her first press conference as premier that she plans to bring back the radical sex-education curriculum shelved by Premier McGuinty in 2010.  At the time parents made an uproar over the introduction of multiple sexual orientations in grade three and the mechanics of gay sex in seventh grade. The Ottawa Citizen has since revealed a number of groups are supporting the resurrection of the sex-education initiative.  

PAFE discussed Wynne's extreme agenda on Michael Coren's show, the 
Arena, on January 29 
in a segment called "The Future of Ontario Education Under Wynne.".





Ottawa Catholic Student Has Strong Words for Board

OTTAWA, January 27, 2013

An Ottawa high school student told members of the board on January 22 that he was disappointed by recent scandals hitting the board.  He said these experiences were making him question the value of his education:  
  
 As a student who goes to a Catholic School, when I hear about stuff like this, it kind of makes me feel disappointed and ashamed to have the name Catholic on our school because we have betrayed our morals for secular values.  As Catholics, we are supposed to be lights to the world.  But instead, how can we, if our lights are already out?

PAFE says simply, "Bravo!" 

The board chair, Mark Mullan, sent PAFE a letter saying that a response would be coming from board in two to three weeks, in about mid-February.

Ottawa Parents Protest Partnership Scandals

"Explicit Policy" Needed to Uphold Goals of Education   
 B.C. Catholic ,Deborah Gyapong   
 Vancouver, January 26, 2013          
Brian Lilley, Sun Media columnist, is a parent to four children in the Catholic school system.

About 100 concerned ratepayers joined the Jan. 22 meeting of the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB), insisting on tighter protocols for vetting speakers and school trips.


In a presentation to the board, Parents as First Educators (PAFE) Ottawa chapter president Andy Pocrnic cited four recent “public scandals” that have led to “the public perception of a weakening of our board’s Catholic identity, sowed confusion in the minds of our students and demoralized parents.” 

Pocrnic listed a proposed civics trip by high school students to campaign for American President Obama; a visit by Liberal leadership hopeful MP Justin Trudeau to a Catholic elementary school to talk about bullying; an upcoming social justice trip involving visits to El Salvador; and the co-op placement of a student with “a homosexual activist organization.”  


PAFE Asks Why Ottawa Student Not Allowed to Address Mtg.

Ottawa, January 22, 2013

           Over a hundred parents packed the Ottawa Catholic Board Office Tuesday night to demand answers about a series of board partnerships with people and groups actively hostile toward basic teachings of the Catholic faith.  Parents As First Educators President, Teresa Pierre said, "Right now problems are happening throughout the board and this suggests a system-wide problem.  It's time for Trustees to come up with a protocol for vetting speakers."  

            One ratepayer, Terry Tate, was further discouraged to discover on site that, despite a week of negotiations with board staff to assure her son, a high-school student in the board, would be allowed to speak, the chair of the board denied him his speech on grounds that he was not a ratepayer.  Apparently the delegation policy could use some work as well.
            Trustees offered no comments or questions on the presentations.  PAFE hopes that the lesson that the taxpayers who pay their bills deserve good accounting from their elected representatives was conveyed and that the board's response to the parental requests will be made public soon.

            The full text of the PAFE presentation is available here.

Lifesite and Lifesite readers comment on meeting

January 7, PAFE post on principal's implausible deniability   

January 8, Brian Lilley's blog at Lilley's Pad       

Parents Protest Trudeau Appearance at Sudbury School

Toronto, December 19, 2012

            Pro-choice politician Justin Trudeau is to appear at a Sudbury Catholic school event this week to discuss the youth leadership program Katimavik.  He is scheduled to appear on Friday, December 21 at St. Charles College.

            Sudbury Catholic Trustee Estelle Scappatura stated to the Sudbury Northern Life newspaper on December 18 that she opposed Trudeau's appearance at the school:  "it's against the dogma of our church to be pro-abortion.  That's just what I'm trying to protect -- the teachings of our church."  P.A.F.E. congratulates this Trustee for speaking out according to her conscience.  The event was cancelled due to a snow day at the board.  Trudeau spoke to a small group of staff and students at the school Friday morning, according to parents.  See the story in LifesiteNews.                                                                 

Read more

  • Sudbury Star, December 21.   Parents protest outside the board office in Sudbury regarding Justin Trudeau's planned appearance at St. Charles College.   This story appeared throughout the province in the SUN chain of papers.
  • Sudbury Star, letters to the editor requesting cancellation of event
  • The controversy was discussed by Aaron Wherry at MacLeans.ca and by Michael Coren on The Arena. 

Pope Says Church Should Partner with Charities Faithful to Church Teachings 

Toronto, December 3, 2012

 On December 1, 2012 Pope Benedict XIV issued a Motu Proprio, a letter titled "De Caritate Ministranda," stating that charities supported by the Church must be concordant with Church teachings:  "The collective charitable initiatives to which this Motu Proprio refers are required to follow Catholic principles in their activity."  

Bishops and priests of the diocese will be responsible for ensuring that the staff of such organizations believe or "at least respect" Catholic teaching:

They are to prevent publicity being given through parish or diocesan structures to initiatives which, while presenting themselves as charitable, propose choices or methods at odds with the Church's teachings.

If a bishop concludes that a charity is not conforming to Church teaching the bishop is to make this known to the faithful and revoke the agency's use of the name "Catholic."  
Father Seeks to Have Parents Recognized as First Educators

Toronto, November 26, 2012

Hamilton father, Steve Tourlakis appeared in court last week seeking a court declaration that he has the right to receive notice when schools plan to teach material that contravenes his Christian beliefs as well as the right to exempt his children from those lessons.  If successful, the declaration would be a victory for the parental voice as the fundamental authority over the education of their children.

Dad Defends Parental Rights in Education, Catholic Register

No Special Treatment for LGBT Students In Alberta Bullying Policies

Toronto, November 23, 2012

The Calgary Herald reported that the Alberta School Boards voted at a meeting on Nov. 19 not to single out LGBT students for special considerations in their bullying policies.  

Ottawa Catholic School Plans, Cancels Trip to Assist Obama

Toronto, November 2, 2012   

Ottawa parents were distressed to hear this week that students from two Ottawa-area separate high 
schools, St. Matthew’s and St. Peter’s, were sending students on a trip involving active participation in the Obama campaign in Ohio.  And so they complained to the Ottawa Catholic School Board that it was unsuitable for a Catholic school to be sponsoring the trip.  The board cancelled the trip, according to Vice Chair Ted Hurley on Nov. 1.

Parents said that their children told them that the teacher was clear that the trip was intended to help   the Obama campaign and that the students would be participating in events such as door             photo:  MichaelBerry.com     knocking and get out the vote.   Read more

Boards Speak Out on Catholic Right to Teach Doctrine

Toronto, October 30, 2012

The York and Toronto Catholic boards sent letters to the Ministry of Education this week affirming that they will stand by the schools' constitutional rights to teach Catholic doctrines on the life issues and homosexuality.   Their letters were sent in response to remarks made by the Minister on October 10 stating that the passage of Bill 13 was intended to convey that the Ministry would not tolerate any teachings in schools which threaten "human rights".   P.A.F.E. spokesman, Teresa Pierre, congratulates York Trustees for speaking up on behalf of their constituents and hopes that they will continue to promote an equally clear policy banning GSAs in their schools. 

York Board letter
                 
Broten:  Genie is Out of the Bottle Now!

Toronto, October 16, 2012
 
National Post reporter Sarah Boesveld pressed Education Minister Laurel Broten's office on October 15 on her plans to obstruct Catholic teaching on homosexuality and the life issues in the schools. The Minister said her remarks were not intended to threaten the Catholic schools rights to direct their curriculum.  
 
In a statement provided to the Post Monday, Ms. Broten said "the Government of Ontario is committed to support for Catholic education and denominational rights" and that "the discussions of the last week were not about what is taught or is not taught in our Catholic schools." The curriculum, she said, remains unchanged.
 
Broten's remarks are not likely to remove parental concerns. The genie is out of the bottle now. Asked for her comment PAFE president, Teresa Pierre, told Boesveld:
 

Regardless of where she was directing the comment, Ms. Broten's lack of clarity and introduction of Bill 13 into a discussion on abortion sent the wrong message to Catholic parents already worried that the anti-bullying bill is the beginning of a bigger move to erase church's values and morals from Catholic schools, said Teresa Pierre, the president of Catholic parents' group Parents As First Educators.

 

"Parents who were concerned [Bill 13] would be used to silence Catholic teaching on homosexuality have now seen that in her mind this bill concerns the life issues too."


Ontario Pressures Catholic Schools Over Abortion, National Catholic Register

Ontario Catholics should not be intimidated by education minister’s warnings

 Special to National Post, Teresa Pierre

Toronto, Oct 15, 2012 


Once in awhile there comes an issue that refuses to be swept under the carpet. It seizes popular consciousness and refuses to let go.  Two such issues are currently causing parallel firestorms over religious freedom.

 

In the United States there is the HHS mandate that forces hospitals and schools among other Catholic institutions to provide insurance that covers free contraception to their employees — despite the obvious insult to Catholic teaching.  

In Ontario, there was the controversial anti-bulling legislation, Bill 13, enacted into law in June that requires Catholic schools to allow the formation of activist clubs called Gay-Staight Alliances (GSAs) when requested by students.

Read more     


Education Minister Fires on Catholic School

Toronto, October 12, 2012 

Education Minister Laurel Broten ratcheted up tensions between the government and Catholic schools this week by suggesting that Church teachings that conflict with the Accepting Schools Act should not be taught in Ontario schools.  

She made her remarks at a press conference on a pro-life campaign to end abortion funding in Ontario.  She said that schools should not teach Church teachings on homosexuality or abortion because they contradict the recently passed Accepting Schools Act (Bill 13). A transcript  of the event reports that Broten said:

                  Bill 13 has a clear indication of ensuring that our schools are safe, accepting places for all our students.  That includes 
                  LGBTQ students...Bill 13 is about tackling misogyny, taking away a woman's right to choose could arguably be one of   
                  the most misogynistic actions that one could take. 
 
                  We do not allow and we're very clear with the passage of Bill 13 that Catholic teachings cannot be taught in our 
                  schools that violates human rights and which brings a lack of acceptance to participation in schools.

PAFE President Teresa Pierre protested the government move in an opinion piece in the National Post, "Ontario Catholics should not be intimidated by education minister's warnings."

Like our Catholic brothers and sisters to the South fighting Obamacare's suppression of conscience rights, it's time to say we're not going to take it anymore!  We need to resist this Minister's attempt to place her version of essential "rights" (as legal expert Faye Sonier has pointed out, Canadian law does not contain a "right" to abortion, according to The New American blog) above the Constitutional rights of the schools.  Bill 13 violates religious freedom!  Catholics have a Constitutionally guaranteed right to teach their religious teachings in their schools. Catholic ratepayers need to tell Premier McGuinty and Minister Broten that they have gone too far this time. The Accepting Schools Act cannot be used as a means to silence us! 

                     Start by calling your Trustee and saying that action starts with him/her, as the guardian of our schools.     
                     Trustees must stand up and protect the schools and Catholic administrators by passing a policy to ban  
                     GSAs in Catholic schools.  See next story.


 

Respecting Difference Campaign
    
       
Bill 13, passed in June, 2012 requires Catholic schools to offer Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) if students request them.  Catholic Trustees must now protect Catholic schools from GSA groups that are dedicated to opposing Catholic teaching on homosexual sex.
             
    Help  P.A.F.E. by calling your Catholic Trustee and asking them to call anti-
    bullying clubs in Ontario separate schools "Respecting Difference" clubs, the  
    
responsible and Constitutional alternative to GSAs.                      
         
     Why do we need this campaign?  Read on ...

   (Photo: Victoria Ptashnick/Toronto Sun)

Parent group 
 
urges Catholic school trustees to defy law supporting gay club, National Post
Parent group wants Trustees to fight Bill 13, Catholic Register
Listen here 
to an interview by Lou Iacobelli with Teresa Pierre, P.A.F.E. President, on his show Family Matters, "Supporting Respecting Difference in the Schools." on Radio teopoli, AM 530.

Cardus Think Tank Says Bill 13 Open to Legal Challenge

Toronto, October 12, 2012 

Ottawa based think tank Cardus has published a legal opinion by constitutional lawyer Eugene Meehan stating that Bill 13 violates the religious freedoms of Catholic schools.  P.A.F.E. President Teresa Pierre welcomes the legal opinion, which reinforces the conclusions of the P.A.F.E. legal opinion on Bill 13 from Geoff Cauchi.  "We believe the Cardus opinion will encourage Ontario Catholics, board officials and Trustees to support board policies that refuse to allow GSAs in our schools and stand up for the Catholic denominational rights of the boards."

The legal opinion states that the Accepting Schools Act violates the rights of Catholic schools to handle bullying using a Catholic model of bullying Club.  It states that multiple elements of Bill 13

disregard Catholic doctrine and ignore constitutionally afforded denominational protection. They open the door for a "one size fits all" model that fails to respect Catholic differences and the purpose behind having separate school systems.  

P.A.F.E. has posted the legal opinion at their site.  It is also available at the Cardus site.                                            


P.A.F.E. Protests Effects of Bill 13 on Schools


This Ain't No Veggie Tale


Toronto, Sept. 27, 2012

SUN news reporter Joe Warmington reported the morning of Sept. 27 that the Toronto District school board was offering up graphic sexual advice to teens at its website.  A webpage belonging to the Coalition for Positive Sexuality that is part of the Board's "Positive Spaces" campaign advises kids about a range of uses for sex toys and vegetables.  Reporter Rebecca Thompson interviewed P.A.F.E. president Teresa Pierre, who said parents were outraged.  "Who is the "Positive Spaces" campaign positive for?"  she asked, "Not kids."   

Pierre said the appearance of the webpage should be a warning to Catholic Trustees since Gay-Straight Alliances also promote these kinds of campaigns. "This is further evidence of why Catholic Trustees should be promoting a GSA ban in Catholic schools," Pierre said.

She said that other parts of Canada are experiencing a similar push by gay activists to bring information that aggressively sexualizes children into the schools..  The "Out in Schools campaign last year in BC was a similar project.


The webpage was removed by mid-day after public outcry.

Watch video:   PAFE President Teresa Pierre says parents oppose  their children being given  access to detailed sexual how-tos at school.


Toronto Posters Promoting "Positive Space":  What Are They Teaching?   


       

Toronto, Sept. 24, 2012


The Toronto District School Board has released poster promoting    cross-dressing for children as well as partners of more than one sexual orientation  as part of its Positive Spaces campaign.   Parents as First Educators (P.A.F.E.) finds the Gender Based Violence  Prevention (GBVP) posters being distributed to Toronto schools to be one more effort aimed at sexual education of young people without parental consent.  The GBVP posters are not approved by parents but are being supplied by a school board.  Parents can view them at the TDSB website  P.A.F.E. president, Teresa Pierre, Ph.D. states, "Why can't the education system in Ontario just teach our children the basics, and stop trying to provide them with sexual indoctrination at every turn?"    

In one of the posters, "The Love Has No Gender" GBVP poster, top left, a couple of the heart-shaped frames contain three stick figures.  Many parents, media figures, and parent 

organizations protested this poster because it could be interpreted to promote multiple sexual

partners, if not polygamy, which is illegal in Canada.  Brian Lilley commented on Byline that

during the debates on legalizing same-sex marriage, many people said that redefining marriage beyond heterosexual marriage would open the door to normalizing polygamy.  He criticized the posters for pushing imagery that appears to imply multiple partners.  He predicts that in the near future, say the next five years or so, it will have become mainstream.    

                                                            Read more                                                                                          


Related:  Ontario Christian group sues for advance notice of public school lesson plans, National Post 


Cardus Think Tank Says Bill 13 Open to Legal Challenge

Toronto, October 12, 2012 

Ottawa based think tank Cardus has published a legal opinion by constitutional lawyer Eugene Meehan stating that Bill 13 violates the religious freedoms of Catholic schools.  P.A.F.E. President Teresa Pierre welcomes the legal opinion, which reinforces the conclusions of the P.A.F.E. legal opinion on Bill 13 from Geoff Cauchi.  "We believe the Cardus opinion will encourage Ontario Catholics, board officials and Trustees to support board policies that refuse to allow GSAs in our schools and stand up for the Catholic denominational rights of the boards."

The legal opinion states that the Accepting Schools Act violates the rights of Catholic schools to handle bullying using a Catholic model of bullying Club.  It states that multiple elements of Bill 13

disregard Catholic doctrine and ignore constitutionally afforded denominational protection. They open the door for a "one size fits all" model that fails to respect Catholic differences and the purpose behind having separate school systems.  

P.A.F.E. has posted the legal opinion at their site.  It is also available at the Cardus site.

Accepting Schools Act Threatens Religious Freedom

Bill 13 Throws Mainline Religions Under the Bus     

Toronto, May 29, 2012

Cardinal Thomas Collins announced on May 28 that the imposition of Gay-Straight Alliances on Ontario Catholic schools should alarm all Ontarians.  He said that this represented a threat to religious liberty.
 
        To our friends and neighbours of other faiths, or of no faith, including those   who disagree with any or all of the beliefs of 
        the Catholic Church, and those who personally support the beliefs that form the context for GSAs: please consider the 
        implications fo all when legislation is enacted that overrides the deeply held beliefs of any faith community in our province, 
        and intrudes on its freedom to act in a way that is in accord with its principles of conscience.  If it happens to us, it can 
        happen to you, on this and other issues.  When religious freedom becomes a second class right, you also will eventually be 
.       affected. 

                  

  
 Parents -Take Back our Classrooms!

Parents As First Educators is about publicly funded Ontario schools that reflect the same values you teach 
your kids.  Unfortunately  
these days the education "experts" don't always seem to share those values.  If you are tired of feeling that your children are being provided with more information about sex than they need, if you think schools should not be able to override your rights to teach your children, if you think that traditional parenting approaches trump experimental sociological theories most of the time, then PAFE is for you.   

As explained on Brian Lilley's program, Byline, we have a three-step plan to help parents speak out!    

  It's called THE PROACTIVE PARENT'S PLAN and you can read more about it here.

~ Broadcasters John Gormley and Brian Lilley show why parents have to push back to make sure students don't get "fed" the latest, craziest fads in education.  Watch the interview from Lilley's programByline.
Recent news

Canadian Economist Never Knew He Would Become Centre of US Firestorm Over Research on Same-Sex Parenting,

Ohio Parents Oppose Gay Straight Alliance Promoting Sex to Teens, Fox 8 News

Brian Lilley Grills TDSB Trustee:  If Nudity Would be Unacceptable at School, Why is it OK at Pride Parade, SUN News Network

Italian Cardinal: Gay "Diversity Training" Turns Schools into "Re-Education Camps," 

Alberta Ed Minister Says Province Will Rethink "New Math" After Parental Outcry, Sun News Network

Want to empower your kid? Make her memorize the multiplication table,

Cardinal Burke: School Sex Ed Curricula Must Not Violate Children's Innocence,

Polish Bishops Issue Pastoral Warning On “Gender Ideology”, The Wanderer

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Dismal math results 'wake-up call' to parents, 

SUN News Network


Ontario Subtracts on its Math Scores: Fraser Report, 

NEW Ontario Catholic School Trustees Video:  The Lasting Impact of a Catholic Education 

Teen girls pledge to support abortion organization in Ottawa-area Catholic High School, LifesiteNews

Chapter and verse, Catholic school funding`s unfair, 

Catholic School promotional video taken down after controversy, Globe and Mail

Catholic education here to stay, Ontario premier says, Globe and Mail

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Canada loses ground on literacy, 

Stop partnering with pro-abortion 'Free the 
Children,' parents tell Catholic school board,

Top education official and premier's appointee charged with making porn, 

Judge: 
Teacher Who Punished Student for Expressing Catholic Belief Against Homosex-
uality Violated Student’s Rights, St. Thomas More Law Center

Whitehorse
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Won't Return to Job, CBC

Boston Cardinal skips BC commence-ment to avoid supporting N. Irish PM Enda Kenny,

The gay people against gay marriage,

Not all children raised by gay parents support same-sex marriage, 

Radical Sex-ed curriculum being pushed on kids, Byline

TDSB Teacher Posts Explicit Sex-Ed Brochures in Grade 7-8 Class, 

Ontario Catholics should not be intimidated by education minister's warnings, 

Ontario Catholic Groups Slam Education Minister for Calling Abortion Misogynistic,

Ontario Tories Say They Won't Reopen Debate Despite Sponsoring News Conference,

Ont. anti-bullying bill at odds with Catholic teachings: Broten, CTV

Broten Sparks Outrage with Misogyny Comments,The Catholic Register

Andrachuk rebukes Broten in open letter, Catholic Register

GSA Coalition Offers to Help Sue Catholic Boards, 

Anti-bullying law unconstitu-
tional, says legal expert, Globe and Mail

P.A.F.E. says no way to London Board Muslim prayer room, PAFE press release
SUN News Network coverage

No need to dilute what little is left of our 'separate' school system,

Toronto school board accused of endangering morals of students over website link, poster campaign, 

Toronto School board opens all kids' washroom doors, Sun News Network