Manitoba

Teachers oppose letting parents opt kids from classes

The Manitoba Teachers' Society says parents should not be allowed to pull their children out of classes in the provincial curriculum, including sex education classes.

The Manitoba Teachers' Society says parents should not be allowed to pull their children out of classes in the provincial curriculum, including sex education classes.

A resolution that was passed at the society's general meeting over the weekend expresses opposition to any policy that lets parents opt their children from any class.

Manitoba Teachers' Society president Paul Olson says the group will lobby the provincial government and school boards to stop letting parents pull their children from classes. (CBC)

"We are teachers, but we are also people of every religious faith and of none," society president Paul Olson told CBC News.

"So for that kind of group of teaching professionals to come to a point of saying, 'Look, there are things that need to be going on in every classroom' was a really big deal for us."

Currently, parents in Manitoba can opt their children out of classes, but Olson said the society will now lobby the provincial government and school boards to change that.

The Manitoba Teachers' Society represents about 15,000 educators across the province, according to its website.

Some of the approximately 290 teachers who attended the general meeting were concerned "with the perception MTS was against choice by parents," according to a society news release.

But those who voted in favour of the resolution argued that all students should be exposed to all parts of the curriculum, "while value judgments and context can be left to parents to discuss with their children," the release said.

"We're parents, too. We don't take kindly to anyone telling us how to raise our kids either," Olson said.

"But there are things that we feel that all students need to know in terms of creating an inclusive school for everybody."