Tuesday, February 28, 2012

When State Pulls Harder on The Reigns

****Canadian readers may find the following especially interesting.****

Protecting Your Home Education

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Here in Alberta, the Education Act or what governs education, is on the verge of potential change. The current act has been in place for 20+ years and it seems like informed conservative Christian home educators are quite pleased with the current act, I myself being one. Homeschool representatives, are writing to political leaders and sending emails to home educating families to get the word out and make their voices known of their concern on this potential change. What seems to me what's getting Christian home schoolers in a fuss is a couple sections of the new act, which includes a possible legislation addressing certain minority groups, namely of the non-hetero sexual kind. If this new bill is passed the acceptance and education of certain beliefs or ways of life would be implemented within the school system, which includes home schoolers. 

When first hearing about the proposed bill, I turned away from holding any opinion because we are one of those uninformed families with little to no political interest. I had heard of what had been happening in British Columbia and smugly thinking that it wouldn't happen here. I see many Canadians who are also comfortable in having no stance in politics. Unfortunately this laid-back attitude may very well get us into much trouble. 

A couple homeschooling moms were telling me about a few emails which I probably received and may wish to read concerning the new Proposed Education Act. After reading the emails I was now aware what all the fuss was about. I was narrow-minded and selfish to think that if the act did change, it wouldn't really affect me, and re-wording laws couldn't really have a direct affect on my children's education. No matter how much the government insists that major change will not occur; that the new act will not change or intrude on our beliefs and how we home educate is not holding water anymore with me

But every little inch we give in good faith may eventually lead to more control over each area of our home educating? This may sound harsh, but intruding on the family in this way, (I believe) is an attack on our God-given authority. Allowing shifts to slowly occur can have monumental impacts.

Look at Canada's Definition of Marriage, for example. The old wording stated, "the lawful union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.” The new wording is as follows, “Marriage, for civil purposes, is the lawful union of two persons to the exclusion of all others.” So if you haven't heard, Canada now marries any two peoples

I believe that marriage is a God made institution of Man and Woman....,  so without getting any hate mail I'll stop there. 

Do you see my point? Whether you're pro or against gay-marriage isn't my point and none of my business really. 

My point is:
Changing wording in a document is huge. It can change everything.

Just because your current education laws suit you now, who's to say that they won't change for your children's children. Or like I heard the other day, that in some nations, Germany being one, homeschooling is illegal. I'm very thankful for the freedom we have in this nation and this province to homeschool our children the way we see fit, but it can easily slip away. Don't be like me. Inform yourself, if not for your now but for your later, especially when state pulls harder on the reigns.

Now, please read the following article which I found most interesting and spurred this post.


Hi all,
*Tom Cage writes for an Albertan newspaper and wrote this on the HS Regulation issue right now,
I thought it was very good and asked if I could share it with you.  Feel free to share it with others.
(*Tom Cage is the AHEA Home Matters editor and a Home Schooling dad, by the way!)
And this is going to affect all schools - public, charter and Christian.  I know some are discussing how
to send out an alert to non HSing families, so stay tuned for that.  When something is put together,
I will send it out.
*Kim Yarrow
I would like to propose a brand-new law for all educators—be they in the public, religious, private, or homeschool form. The law has to do with pencils--red pencils, to be precise. From here on in, every student in Alberta must use, and embrace the use of, red pencils, and nothing else, when it comes to writing.
Non-compliance with this law would be tantamount to redpencilphobia (or “the fear of using red pencils”).
That must seem absurd to most, if not all, of you. After all, what's wrong with blue pencils? Yellow pencils? Pink pencils? And for that matter, any other coloured pencils? If people in their own way prefer to use red pencils, I really can't stop them, even if I wanted to.
But to be told to use a red pencil, and a red pencil only, when there are other legitimate options—that's where I would draw the line (no pun intended). No room for discussion, no place for options, and no argument for what works for me and has been for the greater good for decades.
If I have strong feelings about using a certain type of pencil, why, oh, why should I be forced to use one I don't need, want, or see any point in using? On the one hand, if Bill down the street likes red pencils, that's his business; it may or may not be my business to tell him what to use. I suppose if I felt really strongly about it and could do it in a civil way, I should. On the other hand, if I like, say, blue pencils, that's my business. At what point does Bill get to cram his personal, private preference down my throat? If I am not allowed to, neither should he.
At best, we could co-exist: He uses what works best for him, I use what works best for me. I could live with that compromise.
Let's scrap the pencil example for a moment. Let's move to clothing options, voting choices, or perhaps even an ethical or moral issue that we may confront. If I, as Joe Citizen, have chosen a pathway for me and my family, based on a standard outside of myself, why can't I hold that position without other views being shoved in my face? Apparently I don't have the right to impose those positions on others—my opinions, perhaps, but not much beyond that. 
This column is a classic example of that. I have argued life from a socially, morally, and fiscally conservative perspective. I do not expect my “friends” throughout the county to agree with me. Nor do I expect them to hunt me down, and attack me for my differing views. We leave that caveman mentality for Somalia, Serbia, and the Sudan.
Let's move beyond red pencils and other superficial lifestyle choices even further. I am raising the alarm for all educators and administrators, parents and students, and the future version of these people. A certain moral position held by the belligerent minority is subtly yet quickly being crammed down our collective throats, through our elected officials.
The subtle message is caught up in the word, “homophobia.” The not-so-subtle message is that any disagreement with a certain lifestyle is wrong. This new law--and this is right from the Ministry of Education—insists that it must be accepted and taught.
Since I am not allowed to force my morality on others, and since free speech apparently does not include the Lord's prayer in school, who gave any one else the right to cram their morality down our individual and collective throats? Not only am I not allowed to disagree with that lifestyle, I am required to endorse it. Funny how the reverse isn't true; funny how there's no room for diversity.
Those “guilty” of homophobia appear to me to be the tolerant, reasonable, and patient ones in this argument. I put up with the other view; I have never bullied or belittled those who have a different moral perspective than mine. And yet I and my ilk are portrayed as moral Neanderthals.
I don't believe we have ever been invited to any policy table to share our views. Yes, I did sit with over 300 educator-types at the Lethbridge Lodge a few months ago, as a guest of Alberta Education; and yes, there was a genuine resentment towards the bullying of homosexual. And yes, I agree that should never happen.
Funny, but I am feeling really bullied right now with this new law.
You see, there should be no bullying of those who see things differently, either way. I sense a serious, unconscionable double standard here, and the government will be in for the fight of their life. Catholics, Evangelicals, Mormons, Mennonites, Hutterites, and everyone else in between, will rise up and fight this heinous law. How and when they will, I have no idea.
Back to the original metaphor: If you want to use a red pencil, I can't really stop you—but you have no business making me use one. 
Parents and educators, there's a whole lot more than red pencils at stake here.
*Tom Cage

*Real names protected

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