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'Unacceptable': Education minister slams Alberta Catholic school districts' proposed alternate sex-ed curriculum

Calgary Catholic said they're committed to being inclusive to all students

Education minister David Eggen said it's concerning the document suggests being gay is wrong.

Lucie Edwardson / Metro

Education minister David Eggen said it's concerning the document suggests being gay is wrong.

Alberta’s education minister said a document presented to his ministry by the Council of Catholic School Superintendents of Alberta (CCSSA) that would include an alternative human sexuality curriculum was “never given serious consideration.”

According to Alberta Education, in January of 2017, the CCSSA sent the ministry a letter including a conditional grant proposal for the development of a Catholic human sexuality wellness curriculum.

“The document in question is unacceptable,” said education minister David Eggen, who added it was never taken seriously and no funding was provided.

The document viewed by Metro indicates that the CCSSA believes the new wellness curriculum, which addresses human sexuality, “will require additional consideration in order to ensure alignment with our Catholic perspectives,” and that many of the curriculum outcomes are “problematic” to their faith.

Considered problematic by the CCSA are topics such as consent, reproductive technologies, contraceptives, gender identity and same-sex relationships—to name a few.

“It would be problematic if an outcome required the promotion of multiple relationships and/or family types that are incongruent with the Catholic view of the sacrament of marriage,” states CCSA.

Calgary’s Catholic School District (CCSD), said despite the controversy, the document is intended to act as a resource to complement the province’s mandated curriculum outcomes.

“My understanding is that it’s a new resource being developed by the CCSSA and it’s meant to frame the curriculum with the Catholic perspective and to complement the curriculum,” said Jennifer Woo, director of instructional services at the CCSD.

When asked if the CCSD was concerned about alienating their LGBTQ+ students through these proposed curricula, especially after having worked to meet the province’s requirement for Bill 10 inclusion guideline, Woo said inclusion is of utmost importance for them.

“Our Catholic schools are committed to supporting inclusive communities that require every person be treated with dignity and respect.”

Alberta Liberal party leader David Khan said the proposal is “entirely inappropriate and must be rejected.”

He said being LGBTQ+ is not a lifestyle or choice, and the fact that educators are promoting these views reinforces the need to mandate the inclusion of these topics in the sexual education curriculum.

Eggen said he too was concerned to see it suggested that being gay is wrong and said that under his government any curriculum changes will be inclusive of all students no matter their gender or sexual orientation.

“We will be bringing forward legislation this fall to protect gay students, and we will take further steps if necessary to ensure every school in this province is inclusive of all students,” he said.

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