Open letter to Education Minister Scott Kent:
I am the parent of a Grade 12 student in Vanier and I have been following Bishop Gary Gordon’s and Vanier’s policy on homosexuality. I find it incredible that in this day and age any church or school in Canada would have a policy that says some students are less valued than others and that homosexuality is “morally and intrinsically evil.”
The Catholic Church has a shameful legacy of abuse. I am very much against any church or school policy, which is unkind, discriminatory, and which legally goes against the Department of Education’s policies on inclusiveness, never mind the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
I no longer want my tax dollars supporting any Catholic school in Whitehorse. Private schools should not be given public funding. If a referendum were to be held I think you would find that many Yukoners would wish for a clear change in this matter.
I support the Vanier youth who have spoken out. During spring break I was travelling and I was pleased to see that newspapers such as the National Post have published articles about Bishop Gordon’s and Vanier’s policy, taking a clear stance against this archaic intolerance and discrimination.
Many parents are terribly upset and disappointed with both Bishop Gary Gordon and the ultra-conservative form of Catholicism being pushed in Vanier school. Many valued teachers have already left Vanier in the past year, and I’m sure that most of the long-term teachers who remain at Vanier are having a very difficult, stressful time.
My son’s experience at Vanier has been positive because of these long-term teachers. These teachers and the students are the true “heart and soul” of Vanier. My son and his classmates have been taught to question and discuss anything and everything openly. The teachers have helped them become astute thinkers who value tolerance and empathy. When I walk into Vanier I see hard-working teachers who are knowledgable, enthusiastic, encouraging, and who have big smiles. It would be such a shame for Vanier to lose these mentors.
Our schools must not ever have policies that promote intolerance and hatred. It is morally wrong in our world to think that any person is less valued for any reason. I will not support Bishop Gary Gordon’s policy. I and many other parents are ashamed of the Catholic Church’s and this bishop’s stance. We are ashamed of any members of Vanier’s school council who defend this ultra-conservatism. We are ashamed of Vanier’s administration for promoting this discriminatory policy of intolerance.