Parents for Choice in Education Executive Director, Donna Trimble, was honoured to be invited to speak at the Panel for the Protection of Home Schooling and thank Leslie Grey and Julie Moore for sponsoring and planning this important event.
We also thank PCE supporter Michelle Champ for providing this excellent overview of the Saturday, November 12, 2016 event with relevant links.
PCE Executive Director, Donna Trimble, begins speaking at the 20 minute mark but the entire panel is worth listening to, for both schooled and home schooled parents and families!
First Speaker was Judy Arnall - Alberta Home Education Parents Society (AHEPS)
Judy covered home education history and terminology. AHEPS is a brand new society whose motive is to be a collective voice for families who want to home educate in Alberta. AHEPS is inclusive to all types of homeschooling whether blended, aligned, or traditional, and welcomes all families regardless of religion. One interesting fact I learned from Judy is that Alberta is one of the most highly regulated provinces when it comes to home education. Personally, I now feel compelled to learn about home education regulations in other Canadian provinces! (Judy's recommend reading links are listed below.)
Second Speaker was Donna Trimble - Parents for Choice in Education (PCE)
Sign up for the newsletter and the blog to keep abreast of political concerns in education in Alberta. Donna recommended that we band together with one another and with parents of "brick-and-mortar-school" children to fight against many of the legislative and school board changes that the government is mandating and allowing in schools across Alberta. These are stripping parental consent and notification in many schools. Even changes that appear to only impact schooled children were passed in such a way that should concern home education families. As Donna quoted from John Carpay (JCCF), the position of parents as the primary caregiver and educator of their children is at risk at the hands of totalitarian government actions today in the province and this impacts us all: “freedom is a seamless garment. You cannot unravel only one thread of this garment and expect it to remain intact. A violation of one person’s fundamental freedoms threatens everyone’s freedom. The respect – or lack of respect – that a government has for parents’ rights in education impacts every child and every family.”
Donna placed a great emphasis on Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights "Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children." (See link to complete document below) and asked all parents to engage in the "Parental Consent is Key" open letter to Minister Eggen campaign.
Final and third speaker James Kitchen - The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF)
James recommended that many of the documents listed below be read by parents and educators. He suggested that when we educate ourselves about our rights as parents and educators, then we will be better equipped to stand up against discrimination and we will notice discrepancies in government rulings. I was astonished to learn that not every Bill passed necessarily meets the requirements of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms!
Our 4 fundamental freedoms are found in section 2 of the Charter and they are:
- 2(a) The Freedom of Religion and Conscience
- 2(b) The Freedom of Expression
- 2(c) The Freedom of Assembly
- 2(d) The Freedom of Association
Parental rights are rooted in the Freedom of Religion and Conscience. For example, parents have the prior right (i.e. inherent right, not a government-granted right) to raise their children in their religion, which, of course, includes ethical/spiritual/moral beliefs about sexuality and gender. But, non-religious parents also have the conscience right to raise their children according to their non-religious beliefs, such as a belief in the binary nature of gender or a fluid nature of gender, and so forth.
Fraser Institute reports
History of Alberta Home Education
Standards for Home Education Reimbursement
Home Education Regulation Handbook
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (specifically section 2A)
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (specifically Article 26)
The Alberta Human Rights Act
Alberta's Independent Schools: Taxpayers save $750 million over five years
Bill 10 and the Education Guidelines
PRISM Toolkit Grade 7-12
Summary Article on Prism Toolkit Secondary Edition
PCE Opposes Polarizing ATA PRISM Toolkit
Join 'Parental Consent is Key' Open Letter Campaign
Discovery Math Curriculum Failure
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Loyola High School v. Quebec