OCPA URGENTLY REQUESTS LETTERS supporting the OCSTA decision to protect the Catholic nature of anti-bullying clubs in Catholic schools.
The government has suggested that Catholic schools will be pressured to accept the model of the GSA (gay straight alliance) in proposed Bill 14, an anti-bullying club devoted to supporting students experiencing bullying over sexuality issues, though the legislation itself provides for more than one model of club. Nancy Kirby of the Catholic Trustees' Association (OCSTA) rightly said yesterday that Catholic schools will choose a name that will express a different model of targeting bullying.
Please write to the OCSTA and support their decision that clubs receive a Catholic name, such as the one chosen in the Halton Board, Open Arms. Why does the name matter? The bishops want names that follow out of Catholic beliefs about the human person, and the Catholic tradition does not teach that people primarily are their sexual identity. Sexual identity is only one aspect of the wondrous, complex human person. A club that supports students experiencing issues related to sexuality can only be part of a school support structure for students experiencing all kinds of bullying. Students experiencing bullying of all sorts (and incidents connected to sexual identity are not the highest type in the schools) should receive equal, effective attention. A club that supports students experiencing issues related to sexuality can only be part of a school support structure for students experiencing all kinds of bullying.
Dalton McGuinty needs to stop catering to a small group of activists and insisting that the clubs be devoted to one issue and one interest group. To make a bi-partisan appeal with this legislation he needs to ensure that school policy reflect the wishes of local communities and denominational boards. The common good in schools, Catholic or otherwise, which is the best interest of all students, can not be replaced by the agenda of a few.
The OCPA requests letters stating that Catholic schools' should implement club names such as Open Arms names suited to Catholic schools as per the direction of our bishops. Send them to Kevin Kobus at the Catholic Trustees' Association.
In your letter please make the following points:
ONTARIANS: Write to
Kevin Kobus at OCSTA
Ontario Catholic School Trustees Association firstname.lastname@example.org
416 932-9460 x 222
TORONTONIANS: cc. them to
Patrick Keyes, Super. Student Success Patrick.email@example.com
416 222-8282 x 5370
Bruce Rodrigues, Director of Education firstname.lastname@example.org 416 222-8282
List of Trustees (found in main menu, Links, TCDSB, Trustee List)