Monday, November 5, 2012

School trip cancelled, because parent says teacher on wrong side of U.S. election

It’s a bit rich for the anti-abortion movement to complain that students are being recruited for political causes, when Ontario Catholic schools give their students the day off to attend the annual March for Life. (From Ottawa Citizen Editorial: A Lesson in Politics, November 2, 2012 below)
What impresses us is the forthright courage and in-your-face exposure of this charade by the Ottawa Citizen.
Of course, the irony is not missed on the editorial writer(s) that Ontario Catholic schools give their students the day off for the March for Life but complain about a school trip whose teacher is not of the "side of God"....(my words).
I just turned the radio off after listening to a Romney supporter in the U.S. explaining his vote..."because he does not want to kill babies, and believes that marriage is for Adam and Eve and not for Adam and Steve"....He was a caller to NPR's On Point with Tom Ashbrook... and a highly self-righteous caller to be sure!
There is a religious war going on in North America and the cancellation of the Ottawa school trip is only one casuality of that war....and there will be others, as early as tomorrow when the presidential votes are counted.
The Republican campaign, including their puppets in too many state legislatures, has moved to supress, repress, impede, and even to thwart the vote by Democratic voters in Ohio and Florida (and other states too most likely), solely to express their ideological and religious position:-
  • to oppose to a woman's right to choose through access to therapeutic abortions,
  • to stop a national move in support of gay unions,
  • to abolish Planned Parenthood, and
  • to increase the size and capacity of the greatest killing machine the world has ever known, The Pentagon!
Now there is another "rich irony"!

And don't think the religious war is not also going on right here north of the 49th parallel. How soon will it be before the Harper government Private Member's Bill to determine when life begins, another overt but slightly veiled attempt to abolish abortion in Canada, comes to the floor of the House of Commons for a vote?
Let's get the churches out of the political debates, especially on questions already decided by the Canadian Parliament.
Editorial, Ottawa Citizen, November 2, 2012
A Lesson in Politics
Some parents and anti-abortion activists seem to think they’ve prevented an Ottawa Catholic school from politicizing education, by hectoring it into cancelling a school trip to observe the U.S. election. (School trip cancelled amid pro-choice controversy, Nov. 1, 2012)
In fact, the anti-abortion movement is itself politicizing education, sometimes with the acquiescence of Ontario’s publicly funded Catholic boards. And they’ve also taken an excellent learning opportunity away from 52 enthusiastic high school students.
An article on, which describes itself as emphasizing “the social worth of traditional Judeo-Christian principles,” characterized the teacher and the trip as pro-Obama. St. Peter Catholic School principal Norma McDonald says it was absolutely not. She and the school board approved the optional trip months ago in a process that involved a detailed application and a full agenda, and she says she was satisfied that the students were going to learn about important topics such as free trade, voter registration and urbanization.
But McDonald, in consultation with teacher Scott Searle, cancelled the trip anyway after the LifeSiteNews article and its comment thread appeared. She says she felt she couldn’t expose her students to the kind of nastiness that proliferates in anonymous online forums.
The teacher’s personal politics aren’t very relevant, even if he is an active Obama supporter (as his Facebook page, quoted by LifeSiteNews, suggests). Since about two-thirds of Canadians said in a recent GlobeScan poll they’d re-elect Obama if they had a chance, and only nine per cent said they would vote for Mitt Romney, the notion that an Ottawa high school teacher might prefer Obama to Romney is not shocking. Teachers shouldn’t use their influence over students for political ends. But the actual trip agenda showed no signs that was happening, and the board and principal had no concerns about it.
It’s a bit rich for the anti-abortion movement to complain that students are being recruited for political causes, when Ontario Catholic schools give their students the day off to attend the annual March for Life.
The concern on LifeSiteNews, quoting an anonymous parent and student, wasn’t that the planned trip was one-sided. It was that the trip was seen to be supporting the “wrong” side. The idea seems to be that any student of any religious background who attends a publicly funded Catholic school in Ontario must be taught to support Mitt Romney.
The students, to their credit, took to Twitter to express their disappointment, using the hashtag #TeamSearle, and held a rally on Friday. They got a lesson in politics after all — just not the one their teacher planned.
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