Religion and publicly funded education
My children are approaching high school age and I have chosen to send them to St. John’s College, but I don’t wish for them to receive any religious instruction.
As with the majority of people who choose a Catholic high school, religion was not a factor in my decision. Location, programs and friends were the criteria.
There’s a problem.
According to St. John’s and every other publicly funded Catholic high school in Ontario, religion is a mandatory course. They have all been telling this same lie since funding was extended to the end of Grade 12 in Catholic high schools in 1984, by then-premier Bill Davis.
Part of the 1984 deal was open access to all faiths and exemption from religious instruction, upon request, for public school supporters who attended Catholic high schools. Section 42(13) of the Education Act is very clear. Check it out.
At the time, Catholic schools chose not to challenge the new, but clearly unconstitutional, open access provisions of this deal because, if they did, they wouldn’t get a ride on the gravy train.
They did, however, choose to ignore the exemption from religious instruction provision. Why? Maybe they thought that nobody would challenge them.
Maybe somebody will.
From the Spanish Inquisition to the present day, the Roman Catholic Church has shown itself to be a corrupt institution. I, for one, will not tolerate a publicly funded institution telling me that I must expose my children to their attempts at indoctrination.
The law is on my side.