It’s a warm evening, the sun is out. Until now, we’ve watched soccer from inside one mom’s Honda Odyssey. But tonight, no rain, hail or tundra-like winds.

Only a mention of Bill 44 brings a chill. Our team manager is a teacher with 20 years experience.
“It’s so stupid,” she says. “I’ve written to Ed Stelmach and told him exactly what I think.”

What she thinks is that Bill 44 is stupid, unnecessary and will place a chill in the classroom. Bill 44 was just passed as part of Alberta’s human rights legislation. It gives parents the right to be notified and pull their kids out of class should sexuality, sexual orientation or religion be discussed.

The teacher-mom-soccer manager tells me Alberta parents already have the right to decide if their kids can take sex ed, or any other class. She knows some parents ask for alternate assignments when curriculum varies from their beliefs. She’s good with that.

Bill 44 is clearly impractical. It assumes that a teacher will know what will be discussed in a class. It assumes every word is predetermined.

So here we have it. Alberta’s new Bill 44 plays pure conservative politics. It was the so-called rural and conservative vote that won Premier Stelmach the election. He’s fortifying his base. Teachers are his ideological playthings.

But if the Alberta government dares to dictate my classroom content, I’ll defend it with pitchfork, spatula, and gobs of bitumen.