Vanier parents demand bishop's presence at meeting

Some parents at Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Whitehorse say there's a lack of accountability from the Catholic Episcopal Corporation.

Whitehorse bishop Gary Gordon won't be at next month's meeting to discuss school's gay policy

Some parents at Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Whitehorse say there's a lack of accountability from the Catholic Episcopal Corporation.

At a school council meeting last night, parents of students at the school were told Bishop Gary Gordon will not be at a public meeting scheduled for next month to discuss the controversy swelling around the school's policy with regards to homosexual students.

Parents say they want to put questions directly to the head of the Catholic Church in the Yukon on the draft policy.  

Council chair Paul Flaherty said the meeting on Oct. 3 will collect comments and opinions on the policy. But parents like Cynthia Matechuk want to be able to ask the bishop questions directly.

"It's very frustrating because sometimes we wonder why we should even bother going, because it's a one way conversation where we just tell them how we feel and that's it. And they take it whatever way they wish to take it. It all boils down to this whole control issue," Matechuk told CBC News.

Matechuk said Vanier is a publicly-funded school and its policies should be developed in a transparent manner.

She said Gordon needs to answer parents' questions if he's making decisions about their children's education. The school council says all comments from the meeting will be sent to the Bishop for his consideration.

Tjitske van der Eide said she's 'appalled' that Gordon won't be attending the meeting. "After all we went through in the past few years I think the Bishop in particular and also the department should strive for incredible transparency," van der Eide said. "I think they owe it to us."

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