Monday, September 22, 2008

In case you didn't see this yet . . . a little bit surprising.

School cuts gay, lesbian issues from elective

Canwest News ServicePublished: Monday, September 22, 2008
VANCOUVER --Abbotsford high schools have been prevented from teaching the controversial new Social Justice 12 course because the local school board wants to review its content.
The elective course, which deals with issues ranging from homophobia to animal rights, has caused controversy among religious groups that worry it's too malleable to the individual beliefs of teachers.
One school -- W.J. Mouat Secondary -- scrambled to modify the course, removing content about homosexuality, after the board said it couldn't be offered this semester. Mouat began promoting the course early this year during course planning, said social studies department head Leanne Abrey. Ninety students had signed up for it.
It wasn't until the beginning of the summer, she said, that the board told the school the course couldn't be offered until the final version was approved.
The school rushed to take out parts of the course and expand on others, creating a new course called "Global Studies and Active Citizenship," Abrey said. She said the course no longer contains sections on homosexuality and gay and lesbian rights.
Abrey said she's been saddened and frustrated by the board's intervention.
"I kind of questioned why a ministry-approved course would need to have board approval," she said.
"I don't think it reflects well on our community. It sort of defeats the purpose of a social justice course when it can't be offered."
Abbotsford school district superintendent Des McKay said the board has put Social Justice 12 on hold because it has not yet had a chance to review the final version of the course.
"We're just trying to follow good process," he said.

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