The Ponoka Christian School is among a group of several schools suing the province over Bill 24, which is an act to support gay/straight alliances and protects students from being outed to parents. PCS website photo

The Ponoka Christian School is among a group of several schools suing the province over Bill 24, which is an act to support gay/straight alliances and protects students from being outed to parents. PCS website photo

Ponoka Christian School among group suing province

Group suing Alberta over Bill 24, the act supporting gay/straight alliances

Ponoka Christian School (PCS) is among a group of several Alberta schools and families taking on the province’s Bill 24: An Act to Support Gay-Straight Alliances (GSA).

The hearing for this large group of schools, which includes the Lacombe and Rimbey Christian Schools, is coming up on June 8 in Medicine Hat.

The grounds of the application state that there is an absence of parental knowledge with Bill 24, which creates an opportunity for predation.

“Children are often exploited, both sexually and emotionally, by adults or by their own peers, often with tragic, lifelong and irreparable consequences,” states the application, which can be found at the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms website.

“The abuse and exploitation of children occurs most often in places, and during times, when parents are absent and unaware,” it adds.

For parents within the application, it adds there is a worry of an air of secrecy. “The parents are alarmed and frightened at the climate of secrecy that the School Act has created around ideological sexual clubs and related activities.”

The document alleges some of the GSA support material delves into areas without guidance. “Many of these ‘support materials’ promote and provide explicit direction for inherently unhealthy sexual activity, without any reference to age or to parental consent for the viewing of such materials.”

In an email interview with Ponoka News, Hendrick de Gier, PCS board chairperson, responded to questions related to the reason for joining the application. He pointed out that PCS respects the rights of parents within the Alberta Bill of Rights to make informed decisions related to their education.

“Further, PCS also recognizes its religious freedom as guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to be able to teach curriculum from a Christian perspective and to seek to promote a Christian worldview in all aspects and activities of the school,” said de Gier.

He suggests that Bill 24 violates those rights and the beliefs of PCS. First, in requiring PCS to adopt policies that go against the school’s mission, said de Gier, and second, “requiring that PCS establish certain school clubs and activities regardless of whether they violate the Christian values of our school and parents.”

De Gier adds that Bill 24 also violates PCS rights by prohibiting notification of parents about, “these clubs or activities, even where the material covered deals ‘primarily and explicitly’ with sexuality, and regardless of the age or disability of any children involved.”

Another concern for PCS is worry that adults, who are already obligated to intervene and report risk, will rob vulnerable children of family support.

When asked if the school has a plan if the application is defeated, de Gier replied that the hope is the court will uphold the application and that the school is committed to the safety and well-being of children.

“The right of parents to be involved in their children’s lives is affirmed and protected through important legal documents including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Alberta Bill of Rights and the Family Law Act,” explained de Gier.

Ponoka Christian School

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta's chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says Albertans need to keep making safe choices to start bending the curve back down. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
One new COVID-19 death in Red Deer, 257 additional cases province-wide

Red Deer sits at 459 active cases of the virus

Some events were able to be held at the Calnash Ag Event Centre in 2020, such as the Pacific Equine Sport Fall Festival Jumping show, held Oct. 1 to 4. (File photo)
Calnash Ag Event Centre’s finances ‘very healthy’ overall heading into 2021

The Ponoka Agriculture Event Centre Society (PAECS) held its annual general meeting… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Thursday that the province may consider a regional approach to loosening COVID-19 restrictions if numbers continue to decline. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Province further easing health restrictions

Numbers of people hospitalized and in intensive care has dropped dramatically, says premier

(Black Press file photo)
Ponoka Elementary School has three COVID-19 cases, including one variant

St. Augustine School has had no confirmed cases so far in 2020

Ryan Jake Applegarth of Ponoka, 28, is scheduled to appear at Ponoka Provincial Court on March 12, 2021. (File photo)
Discussions about justice continue as Ponoka murder victims’ court cases proceed

Responses to comments Ponoka Staff Sgt. Chris Smiley made to town council Feb. 9

A health-care worker looks at a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Palais de Congress site as Quebec begins mass vaccinations based on age across the province, Monday, March 1, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Nearly 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving in Canada this week: Anand

Anita Anand says she’s received assurances from the vaccine manufacturer

A ” Justice for Jeff” T-shirt. (Photo submitted)
Rally to be held outside courthouse for slain Ponoka man

At what may be the last opportunity for Jeffery Kraft of Ponoka… Continue reading

Samantha Sharpe, 25, was stabbed to death at Sunchild First Nation on Dec. 12, 2018. Chelsey Lagrelle was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for manslaughter in a Red Deer courtroom on Tuesday. Photo contributed
Central Alberta woman sentenced to 4 1/2 years for stabbing friend to death in 2018

Chelsey Lagrelle earlier pleaded guilty to stabbing Samantha Sharpe during argument

Calgary police say they received 80 hate crime complaints between January and November 2020. (Pixabay)
‘Racism is a real problem:’ Muslim women fearful following attacks in Edmonton

So far in 2021, three of seven hate-crime-related investigations have involved Somali-Muslim women

Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro speaks during a news conference in Calgary on May 29, 2020. Shandro says Alberta is considering whether to extend the time between COVID-19 vaccine shots to four months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta may follow B.C.’s lead on faster rollout of first COVID-19 dose

Tyler Shandro says a committee of COVID-19 experts is analyzing emerging data and a decision is coming

A locally-produced video project aims to preserve Canada’s railway history

‘Railways have been an integral part of Canadian history since 1836’

Dr. Stanley Read
Hometown Bashaw doctor recognized with alumni award for AIDS work

Dr. Stanley Read, born and raised in Bashaw, is considered a global health leader

A copy of the book “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” by Dr. Seuss, rests in a chair, Monday, March 1, 2021, in Walpole, Mass. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the business that preserves and protects the author and illustrator’s legacy, announced on his birthday, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, that it would cease publication of several children’s titles including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo,” because of insensitive and racist imagery. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
6 Dr. Seuss books won’t be published for racist images

Books affected include McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat’s Quizzer

AstraZeneca’s vaccine ready for use at the vaccination centre in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Reichel/dpa via AP
National panel advises against using Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on seniors

NACI panel said vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are preferred for seniors ‘due to suggested superior efficacy’

Most Read