Thursday, March 24, 2011

You got Your Religion in my Education!

Donna Hunter, from my very own town of Morinville, doesn't want her children to receive a catholic education. The problem is the only public school in town is catholic, and they ignored her requests for secular education. So she went to the school board, the supposedly impartial overseer of education, and they offered her (in their own words) 7 solutions; 5 of which involve something called a 4X4 (I have no idea how this would help), and the other two involve busing her children to a different school district in a different town so they could attend secular classes. She balked at the request, preferring to remain active in her children's education and let her children learn in the town they live in, so she went to the minister for education, Dave Hancock; his response was that she should continue to talk to the board, that they should "work it out".

When she asked for a census, to see if the demand is present for a separate school, they denied her that as well, although I can understand their rationale - a board can't jump at every request with a census, they are awfully expensive and occasionally ridiculous. But that just means it is up to us, people who actually care about the education their children will get, to write in to demand a census, once it is obvious there is a reasonable demand for it, the board should do further investigation

Their rational for offering only faith-based education is that 46% of  Morinville residents identify themselves as Catholic, and that 30% of students identify as such, so it makes sense to aim their education at the majority of attendants. 

She made the request in January and is only now, at the start of the school year registrations, being told that her request is denied, so she has no time to try anything else - it's another school or another year of religious education for her kids. If this bothers you like it bothers me:
Contact Dave Hancock, Minister of Education or Lauri-Ann Turnbull, chairwoman for the Greater St Albert Catholic School Board and ask them to at least look into providing secular education for this area. As someone who hopes to send her kids to school in Morinville one day, I would be awful upset if the school board ignored my wishes for my children.

Dear Dave Hancock;
As a resident of Morinville, and a citizen in the area of the Greater St Albert Catholic School District I would like to press upon you the growing need for secular education in this area. Please encourage the school board to recognize the needs of all of its constituents, not just the Catholic ones, with a census to determine the demand for a secular school.
Thank you for your time.

Dear Lauri-Ann Turnbull;
As a resident of Morinville that hopes to have children in the Greater St Albert Catholic School Division one day, I would like to press upon you the growing need for secular education in this area. The notion of continually busing the children of dissenting parents to other school divisions is unfeasible in the long term. Please conduct a census to determine the demand for a secular school in this area, and then act accordingly.
Thank you for your time.

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