Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Canada: Halton Catholic School Board DROP's Gay/Straight Alliance Ban

     In an excellent move for progress in Catholic Education, the Halton School Board officially decided to remove the ban that was instituted last year on Gay-Straight alliances. There was some opposition though, from two of the board members, who stated that by doing this they would be getting away from the school districts Catholic principles. But, sane heads prevailed. The final vote was 8-2. The Hamilton Spectator has the story....
Halton Catholic School Board trustees have voted to rescind a controversial policy that banned gay-straight clubs in its schools.
Trustees Wednesday night voted 8-2 to do away with the policy passed by the outgoing board last number.
The board, facing criticism from gay rights groups and citizens for the ban, also voted to put in place as an interim measure called the Ontario Education Services Corporations' (OESC) Catholic template policy. It was developed in 2010 along with Catholic community partners throughout the province to help Catholic school boards define their vision and commitment to the Ministry of Education's equity and inclusive education strategy.
The interim move was approved 8-0.
An overflow crowd packed the board's small meeting room, showing the emotion in the issue. Only about 70 people were able to get in and two youths carried signs which said “Love sees no gender or sexual orientation” and “Don't hate or discriminate.” A woman, however, carried a sign which said the school board “already fosters equity and inclusiveness - no need for gay-straight alliance clubs.'
The majority of trustees believed the board policy did not foster a good atmosphere for students. A new policy will be developed and the first meeting of the policy committee is Feb. 8.
“Students must be able to attend our schools without fear,” said trustee Arlene Iantomasi, who moved to rescind the old policy. “This current policy is an insult.”

I feel very happy for the citizens of the regional municipality of Halton - which includes major cities like Burlington and Oakville. They persevered against the injustice that was being forced upon them, and they have overcome! 

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