A religious advocacy group is taking the Ontario school system to court arguing that public schools need to provide “advance notice” of their teachers’ lesson plans so that parents can vet what their children are allowed to learn.
In a Friday release, the newly-formed Parental Rights In Education Defense Fund announced they were teaming up with a “beleaguered parent” to sue school authorities for refusing “to provide reasonable accommodation for his family’s religious beliefs.”
“The parent seeks nothing more than to be given advance notice so that he can either withdraw his children before the lesson, or prepare his children in advance for what they may be taught,” wrote the group.
The parent reportedly has two children in an Ontario elementary school and has tried for more than a year and a half to obtain advance details on all the school’s lessons and materials, lest they be non-Christian.
Last September, the Toronto District School Board released an anti-homophobia curriculum guide that recommended schools not advise parents when teachers would be talking about gender discrimination, homophobia and non-traditional families.
“If a parent asks for his or her child to be exempted for any discussions of LGBTQ family issues as a religious accommodation, this request cannot be made because it violates the human rights policy,” states the guide.
Let me speak as a teacher here. My job is to instruct my students according to the standards set by the government using data to guide my instruction and assessment. Now, obviously this is a very simplistic way to look at the job of a teacher, but for the sake of the current article, it works.
I gather data about my students and their educational needs in a variety of ways on a daily basis. This data then drives my instruction. Now, while I plan about a week in advance, my plans are subject to change according to the need of my class. In fact, my material is subject to change even when looking at the different periods I teach. This is a strategy called differentiation and it is one of the core elements of teaching.
I currently provide my parents with a week’s notice of the material that will be covered, but that can be changed on a daily basis.
The idea ofrequiringadvanced lesson plans so that a parent can determine what is “appropriate” for their child to learn is absolutely absurd. Those lesson plans can, and SHOULD, change based on the data gathered throughout the day’s worth of instruction.
And this is avoiding the entire idea that parents get to decide what standards are “Christian” enough to be taught. Sorry, but education doesn’t fucking work that way. You as a parent don’t get to decide what is appropriate for your student to learn. You are not an educator. You are not specifically trained to look at curriculum. You are not looking through years and years of study that validate the standard currently in place.
So not only are you 1) asking your teacher to be an ineffective educator, but you are 2) saying that you are more qualified than trained, educated professionals to determine what your child should learn.
In short, you, sir, are a fucking idiot.