A Christian program that operates in seven Edmonton public schools is opposing a proposed policy that uses the word "affirm" when talking the about the rights of gay, lesbian, and transgender students and staff.
The article in the June 2011 Logos Lantern, a newsletter for parents, says the policy could have "a significant, negative impact" on the Logos Christian Alternative Program. Parents are urged to contact their trustee and comment on a survey.
"If the policy ... means that our Logos teachers and principals would not longer be able to express freely in their classrooms that the homosexual lifestyle is not in accord with their Christian beliefs, and that they would be required to 'affirm' homosexual lifestyle as acceptable to traditional Christian values, then we cannot accept this," states the article titled "An Alert to Logos Parents."
The article's authors support every child's right to be free of bullying but state the new policy would not be needed if existing ones were "strictly enforced."
Edmonton Public Board trustees passed a motion in March approving the development of a policy prohibiting all forms of discrimination against sexual minorities.
The president of the Edmonton Logos Society, Bruce Wilkinson, says his group has many questions about the policy and what it means for the school program.
"We feel that the way the board has set this up now it's rather an intolerant policy," he says. "It wants one size to fit all and we think that that's not quite fair and not in accordance with our freedoms here.".
Board chairman Dave Colburn said the policy is necessary because studies show that gay, lesbian and transgender students are at greater risk of bullying then the rest of the school population.
"I think in the context of safety and well-being, we're really talking about the fundamental rights of all citizens and in this case, particularly our sexual minority students and staff, to be respected, to be safe, to be welcomed and to be accepted in our school environment," he said.
Board officials have received just over twenty complaints about the policy over the last couple of months, Colburn said.
Trustees will get an update on the policy at Tuesday's board meeting.