“Apply your heart to wisdom. Seek understanding. Take hold of instruction.”—Solomon, a king of Israel in the 10th Century BC. He had a thing or two to say about education.
Education is a lifelong process. We talk of our “education system” but formal schooling is only one aspect of acquiring knowledge, wisdom and understanding.
As parents, we invest time and money in our children’s education because we want our children to have the knowledge and skills to be able to achieve their goals, to communicate effectively and to be successful in their careers and relationships. We want their educational experience to be as rich and as enjoyable as possible so that they will reap the rewards of their efforts in their homes and in their workplaces.
Today in BC, many parents are wondering whether our educational bureaucracy has gone off the rails. Are our children being consistently taught things that align with reality or—along with their academic studies—are they being taught a set of values and assumptions that could result in unnecessary confusion and pain?
We all know about the devastation and pain resulting from the residential school program. The very first offense of that program was for the government to take children away from their parents. The second offense was to steal from these children the culture and heritage of their parents. That is happening today in BC’s “non-residential” schools, where the values and beliefs of parents are being violated by the government.
In BC and other provinces, many legislators and high-ranking players in the educational establishment have been imposing an extreme “gender agenda” on students, regardless of the wishes and beliefs of their parents and often without their knowledge or consent. Since the 2005 Corren Agreement, the BC government has been incorporating sexual orientation and gender confusion into every aspect of public education. Good teachers who simply want to do their jobs are now feeling the pressure—against their better judgment—to promote this agenda to vulnerable schoolchildren. These teachers are being bullied from the top down and need conscience protection.
The question boils down to spheres of responsibility. The Ministry of Education is expected to work on behalf of parents to help children gain the academic knowledge and skills which will earn them a place in the workforce. The recent emphasis on sexuality and the promotion of alternative lifestyles not only distracts young people—at very inappropriate age levels—from their studies of the hard sciences, math, physics, biology, history and literary skills; it can create confusion in young hearts and minds and lead children in their formative years to make lifestyle choices with serious consequences.
Parents are the first and primary caregivers and educators of their own children. The government has no business imposing a set of values on children contrary to the wishes of their parents. In some cases, parents are being deliberately kept in the dark. This must stop.
One solution to the cultural battleground in the public school system is to establish a voucher system whereby parents could direct the funds—currently spent on their children in the public system—to any one of a number of options: private schools, charter schools, responsible home schools or the public schools of their choice. By all measurable standards, children educated in home schools and independent schools achieve academic scores at least equal to provincial averages. The voucher system would do two things: it would give parents choices they do not currently have and it would give the Ministry of Education good reasons to get back to basics and drop its unhealthy fascination with sexuality.
To bring our schools back to the levels most parents expect, we must:
- Recognize the unique and sovereign sphere of parents as primary educators.
- Using a voucher system, allow parents and students to choose the school setting which best represents their family goals and values.
- Introduce conscience legislation to protect students and teachers from being forced to participate in the promotion of alternative gender theory.
- Return to a focus on academic achievement.
- Increase trades training and facilitate apprenticeships for students not intending to attend post-secondary schools.
Social experiments, like the one currently being conducted on BC children, can have long-lasting negative impacts. We, the parents and taxpaying citizens of BC need to protect our young people from harm, and provide them with the quality education they deserve.
Rod Taylor Leader,
Christian Heritage Party of BC