One School System and Abortion

Ontario has two schools systems—both publicly funded. The "public schools" are open to all comers but the "Roman Catholic" ("Separate") school system isn't.

I support the One School System Network.
The organizations represented by the One School System Network [OSSN] are united in the conviction that:

Ontario's publicly funded school system bring students of all backgrounds together in an environment that fosters mutual respect and understanding while respecting their fundamental equality and helping them to realize their full potential as citizens.

To realize that vision, OSSN seeks the establishment of a single secular school system for each official language, namely English and French public school boards.

Furthermore, OSSN seeks the elimination of costly duplication in the Ontario school system in order to minimize infrastructure costs and to maximize opportunities for student development.

Publicly funded schools in Ontario shall not discriminate on the basis of religion in any form including: school environment, enrolment of students, opportunities for all students, evaluation of students, employment and advancement of teachers and all other school board personnel, adherence to Ministry of Education curriculum guidelines including courses in World and Comparative Religions.

Publicly funded school boards may, where appropriate, permit voluntary religious programs for students provided by local faith groups outside regular instructional hours.
Here's one of the reasons why we need to merge the Roman Catholic schools into a single, secular, public school system: Students sent home.

Alexandria Szeglet added a strip of green tape to her St. Patrick High School uniform Thursday with the word “choice” written on it and was sent home for the day after refusing to take it off.

The Grade 10 student wore the green tape in response to a pro-life event at the school, where some students wore a red piece of tape with “life” written on it and didn’t talk for the day to display their belief in the injustice of abortion.
Alexandria and about 35 other students were send home for wearing the green tape. None of the students who wore red tape with the word "life" were sent home or asked to remove the tape.

Two of the comments below the article deserve more publicity.
Ann says:
Alexandria is my daughter. Her father and I are raising and guiding her and her sister into formulating independent thought and opinion. Alex went to school today wearing a green piece of tape in response to a pro-life scheduled event that she knew was already happening. It was JUST a piece of tape. Very quickly, she was informed that she wasn't allowed to imply her opinion ~ but others wearing "red" were. "Pro-choicers", like Alex, believe in simply that. If a woman chooses abortion, then Alex would support that. If a woman chooses to have the child, Alex would support that too. I know for a fact that she did this not expecting the out pouring of support she has been receiving, but to just put her opinion out there like all the rest. This IS a very touchy subject with a lot of people, and knowing that the School Board allows this in their halls ... I'm speechless. We're very proud of you, Alex.

Kerri says:
Alexandria is my niece and we are very proud of her ability to speak her own mind. This demonstration was done peacefully and without malice unlike some of the pro life demonstrations that have happened in the past. I am born and raised a Catholic woman, am well educated. Having attended a Catholic school myself, I am appaled at the ridiculousness of this situation and the stand that the school and school board have taken on this subject when Alex simply held true to her beliefs. Isn't that what we teach our children? To have independence, a mind of their own and to be secure in all the decisions they make?
Ask yourself this question: Would you want to be the person to explain who your childs dad was if you were a victim of rape or incest? OR What if your life was in mortal danger? PRO CHOICE means just that...a woman's choice. It's not a form of birth control nor is it a decision any woman would want to make. I know in my heart and in my wonderful niece's heart that she is intelligent enough to know what is right or wrong for her own self. We are proud of her if every sense and we will continue to support her throughout her life. It's a shame that the world is still stuck in the dark ages and that a woman still does not have the right to choose...This is a touchy subject that someone thought was ok for high schoolers to demonstrate...with the advent of Facebook and social media, what did they think would happen when people caught wind of today's events?
John de Faveri is the director of education for the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board.
“On the issue, pro-life is part of the Catholic stand,” said de Faveri during a phone interview with Dougall Media Thursday afternoon. “The pro-choice students were not appropriate in the context of a Catholic school.”
That's exactly why we need to convert all these schools into secular schools.

It will be interesting to see what happens in Catholic high schools over the next few days. I expect that many Principals and Vice-Principals are in for a hard time.

[Hat Tip: Canadian Atheist: The easiest way to get kicked out of Catholic school…]
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