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Classroom clamour

An approved amendment that was added to the province’s new human rightsact early yesterday morning will create more headaches for schoolboards and teachers across the province, said a very tired LaurieBlakeman.

An approved amendment that was added to the province’s new human rights act early yesterday morning will create more headaches for school boards and teachers across the province, said a very tired Laurie Blakeman.

The Alberta Liberal culture critic said the amendment that will force school boards to notify parents when teachers offer lessons that deal explicitly with religion or sexual orientation will add further costs to school administration and it will put teachers in a bad spot.

Blakeman said the amendment will force school boards to create and maintain databases for parents on what they want their children to learn and the move could be expensive.

“This will put a chill in a lot of people and a particular chill on teachers,” said Blakeman within hours after the government passed the amendment sometime around 3:30 a.m.

And while Blakeman says stopping Bill 44 from turning into law is a near-impossible fight, the Alberta Teachers Association, the Alberta School Council’s Association and the College of Alberta School Superintendents said the bill needs a government do-over.

“By adding this human rights legislation, it is going to create more problems than what it will solve,” said ATA president Frank Bruseker, who said the bill would impede a teacher’s ability to teach.

“It’s better to have discussions than to create silos — people who don’t want to talk about creationism can go over here, people who don’t want to talk about the Holocaust can go over there.

“Let’s put our heads in the sand, but that doesn’t build an inclusive society, does it?”

The bill is expected to pass in its third reading in the legislature today before it becomes law.

 
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