ONTD Political

Ontario dad wants option of pulling kids out of class based on religious beliefs

1:34 am - 09/12/2012
Ontario dad wants option of pulling kids out of class based on religious beliefs

By The Canadian Press | The Canadian Press – Mon, 10 Sep, 2012

TORONTO - An Ontario father is taking his children's school board to court in a bid for advance notice on lesson plans that might contradict his Christian beliefs.

Steve Tourloukis is asking Ontario's Superior Court to force the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board for a heads-up when topics such as marriage, family and sexuality will be discussed in his kids' classes.

It's discriminatory to deny him the religious accommodation when it is provided to people of other faiths, such as Jehovah's Witnesses, Tourloukis said Monday at a news conference.

He dismissed the idea of educating his children — a son in Grade 4 and a daughter in Grade 1 — in the separate school system.

"Why should I send my children to another school?" he said. "I pay my taxes...I don't see why somebody else's discrimination should cause me, should influence where I send my children. Not in a free country. Not in Canada."

Tourloukis noted that he teaches his children that everyone is made in the image of God and to love people who are different from them, but said this isn't about his religious beliefs.

"This is about a parent's right to know what is being taught in schools," he said.

"My children are my own. I own them. They don't belong to the school board."

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board said a spokesperson would be available later Monday to comment.

Education Minister Laurel Broten said she believes in the province's "evidence-based curriculum" and it must be taught across Ontario.

"We are confident and stand by our curriculum and all boards across the province have religious accommodation protocols that they put in place at a local level," she said.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said decisions about accommodations are up to the local school boards.

"That's why we have independently elected trustees," she said. "It remains their purview to make those decisions and to determine what the board can handle as far as accommodating the needs of parents and the kids."

Source: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/ontario-dad-wants-option-pulling-kids-class-based-184415727.html?_esi=1
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tabaqui 12th-Sep-2012 04:31 pm (UTC)
He *owns* his children?
Fuck him so hard.
hinoema 12th-Sep-2012 04:39 pm (UTC)
That jumped out at me, too. I'm sure he thinks he owns his wife, as well.
flcadam 12th-Sep-2012 04:43 pm (UTC)
I don't think that his request is unreasonable. I recall that at my school, waivers were sent out for our parents to sign whenever we had controversial lessons. Parents who objected to sex ed or similar topics being taught to their kids were able to opt out. I'm surprised that the parent in this story doesn't currently have this option.
angelofdeath275 12th-Sep-2012 06:09 pm (UTC)
ive heard of this as well, but i take issue with parents who do that because he ends up meaning they aint gonna teach their about what they dont want them to know, leading to ignorant children who had the chance of learning better
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zinnia_rose 12th-Sep-2012 04:50 pm (UTC)
"My children are my own. I own them. They don't belong to the school board."

EWWWWWWWWWW. NO NO NO NO.


Edited at 2012-09-12 04:50 pm (UTC)
katrinar 12th-Sep-2012 04:51 pm (UTC)
As a Greek parent in Ontario, can I just say FUCK THIS GUY.

His children are not property to be owned. They are people.



holy fuck i'm enraged.
effervescent 12th-Sep-2012 04:55 pm (UTC)
Steve Tourloukis is asking Ontario's Superior Court to force the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board for a heads-up when topics such as marriage, family and sexuality will be discussed in his kids' classes.

That is such a broad spectrum. Depending on the grade level, those topics could come up on a daily basis depending on the units that are being studied, or the book they're reading, or just a discussion about current events! I wish there was more detail in these articles because they're not clear enough. If the teacher is just outright refusing to give any detail, then that's one thing, but if the guy is being demanding on all the tiny details he wants to know, then that might be why he's not being 'accomodated'.

I do remember when I was going to school in the public school system in Ontario, Jehovah's Witnesses would have to sit outside the classroom for certain activities, and I do believe there was a permission note sent home about sex ed. I really think there has to be more going on here, unless the teacher/board are being completely unreasonable.

That said, my general opinion stands, and I really don't get what's so hard about simply parenting when it comes to addressing situations like this. Kids are going to encounter beliefs and ideals that don't match their families, parents still have the ability to respond and guide them.
bushy_brow 12th-Sep-2012 05:20 pm (UTC)
Kids are going to encounter beliefs and ideals that don't match their families, parents still have the ability to respond and guide them.

This! IDK why he's gone to the teachers/school board/etc. first when he could, yanno, ASK HIS KIDS WHAT THEY COVERED IN SCHOOL TODAY. And then, if it doesn't jive with his beliefs, tell them what he believes. Oh, wait -- I DO know. 'Cause that would require actual parenting. Never mind!
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hey_kayla_jay 12th-Sep-2012 11:11 pm (UTC)
What you say is true, but not realistic for everyone. My sister and I had to go to public school because our parents couldn't afford the private schools in the area. The education was fine, but I'm bitter about what I missed out on. They could afford to send my brother. He goes to the local private high school now and my jealousy knows no bounds. But I'm rambling.
bowtomecha 12th-Sep-2012 05:02 pm (UTC)
So whats his solution? He doesn't want another school, he doesn't want them home taught probably... he wants them pulled out every time the teacher discusses something he doesn't believe in? This is exactly what private schools are used for.
mutive 12th-Sep-2012 05:02 pm (UTC)
He owns his children? That's a rather creepy thought...
kalikahuntress 12th-Sep-2012 05:24 pm (UTC)
Uggh this man is so gross. Children are not property.
beautyofgrey *sigh*12th-Sep-2012 05:35 pm (UTC)
Fundamentalists: hellbent on destroying public education since 1962.
world_dancer 12th-Sep-2012 05:37 pm (UTC)
Okay, the only info under reasonable religious accommodation in Canada on Wikipedia is

1) Jewish guy allowed to not play games on Jewish holy days.

2) Muslim women allowed to vote while their faces are covered/no photo ID.

3) Use of clouded windows in gyms so that children in day care portions of the YMCA don't watch women working out.

How do we get from that to "I get to approve every lesson plan and pull my kids from classes randomly?"

I know Wikipedia isn't perfect, but if there were a bunch of other weird accommodations, I'd think they would have been mentioned.
uluviel 12th-Sep-2012 06:08 pm (UTC)
3) Use of clouded windows in gyms so that children in day care portions of the YMCA don't watch women working out.

This one needs to die already. I know someone who worked out at that gym, and the windows were clouded at the request of the women who use the gym. The window was facing a very public space and they had creeps staring in all day long. It wasn't at the request of offended religious types, like the media made it out to be.
sparkindarkness 12th-Sep-2012 05:44 pm (UTC)
And aside from the problem of his kids growing up with lots of harmful ignorance and grow up to be raging bigots (which is why it's never just a personal thing) there's always the chance that his kids may be GBLT - and grow up without anything to combat his bigotry. (Especially since it's apparent: http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/christian-father-sues-ontario-school-board-for-religious-accommodation-1.949577 that he's a raging homophobe and it's "zomg the gays!" that he objects to)

Children aren't property, they're people with rights who can be harmed. And we've lost too many poor kids stuck in bigoted households with nothing to counter the hate to sit back and be casual about it happening again
imnotbob 12th-Sep-2012 05:49 pm (UTC)
I own them.

No, you don't.
angelofdeath275 12th-Sep-2012 06:05 pm (UTC)
i own them, he says

i wish his kids hate them then, especially when they find out the truth in his parenting skills
twowaymirrrors 12th-Sep-2012 06:11 pm (UTC)
"My children are my own. I own them. They don't belong to the school board."

Oh.
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