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Proposed Explicit Alberta Parents' Bill of Rights

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Document Structure

            1 - Related Rights Legislation

            2 – Key Parenting Issues and Concerns

            3 - Related UCP AGM Nov 2023 Resolutions

            4 - Parents’ Bill of Rights to be Clarified in the Alberta Education Act

            5 –Critical Analysis of Saskatchewan’s Name Change/Pronoun Usage Law

            6 - Conclusion

1 - Related Rights Legislation

The following parental rights are set out in Alberta Family Law Act s.21 (5 and 6): (quote in italics)

     Except where otherwise limited by law, including a parenting order, each guardian has the following powers and responsibilities in respect of         the child and shall exercise them in a manner consistent with the evolving capacity of the child:

     (a)  to nurture the child’s physical, psychological and emotional development and to guide the child towards independent adulthood;

     (b)  to ensure the child has the necessaries of life, including medical care, food, clothing and shelter;

     (c)  to make day to day decisions affecting the child, including having the day to day care and control of the child and supervising the child’s               daily activities;

     (d)  to decide the child’s place of residence and to change the child’s place of residence;

     (e)  to make decisions about the child’s education, including the nature, extent and place of education and any participation in extracurricular             school activities;

     (f)   to make decisions regarding the child’s cultural, linguistic, religious and spiritual upbringing and heritage;

     (g)  to decide with whom the child is to live and with whom the child is to associate;

     (h)  to decide whether the child should work and, if so, the nature and extent of the work, for whom the work is to be done and related                       matters;

     (i)   to consent to medical, dental and other health‑related treatment for the child;

     (j)   to grant or refuse consent where consent of a parent or guardian is required by law in any application, approval, action, proceeding or                 other matter; and

     (k)  to receive and respond to any notice that a parent or guardian is entitled or required by law to receive.

The following parental right is set out in Education Act Notice to Parent (s.58.1): [paraphrased]

     (1) A board shall provide notice to a parent of a student where courses, programs of study or instructional materials, or instruction or                       exercises, include subject-matter that deals primarily and explicitly with religion or human sexuality.

     (2) Upon receipt of a written request signed by a parent of a student that the student be excluded from the instruction, course or program of               study or use of instructional materials, the teacher or other person shall, in accordance with the request of the parent, permit the student,             without academic penalty to either:

​               (a) Leave the classroom or place where the instruction, course or program of study is taking place; or

               (b) remain in the classroom or place without taking part in the instruction, course or program of study or using the instructional                                materials.

 

The following student rights are set out in Education Act s.35.1 Support for Student Organizations: [paraphrased]

     (1) If one or more students attending a school operated by a board request a staff member employed by the board for support to establish a              voluntary student organization, or to lead an activity intended to promote a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment                that respects diversity and fosters a sense of belonging, the principal of the school shall

                 (a) permit the establishment of the student organization or the holding of the activity at the school, and

                 (b) designate a staff member to serve as the staff liaison to facilitate the establishment, and the ongoing operation, of the student                              organization or to assist in organizing the activity.

     (2) Student organizations include gay-straight alliances (GSAs), diversity clubs, anti-racism clubs, and anti-bullying clubs.

     (3) The students may select a respectful and inclusive name for the organization, including the name “gay-straight alliance” or “queer straight            alliance,” after consulting with the principal.

     (4) If the principal determines no staff member is available to serve as liaison (Ref. (1)(b)), the Minister shall appoint a responsible adult.

     (5) If a staff member volunteers to serve as liaison, (4) above is void, and the staff member shall be deemed available to serve as staff liaison.

[Note Education Act s.35.1 Support for Student Organizations makes no mention of an adult-run GSA Network, nor LGBTTTPQQAI+ agencies and activists accessing Alberta Education students. GSA clubs are peer-led and require no constitution, no transparency, no supervision, and no limitation on the age spread among members.

2 – Key Parenting Issues and Concerns

The media-labelled “LGBTQ Students’ Rights Law” or “Gay-Straight Alliance Law” was legislation passed by the Prentice PC government in March 2015.  Successive administrations (Notley NDP, Kenney UCP and Smith UCP) have continued the governance resulting in unprecedented social phenomena and radical harmful change in “parent-child-State” relationships:

  • Students, starting at age five, have the right to join a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club, and/or to declare a sexual orientation/gender identity to their school, secretly and independently from parental knowledge and consent.  Moreover, teachers and school staff are empowered to continue the deception of uninformed parents. Click here for an explanation why the UCP policy of asking teachers to voluntarily break “secrecy” in a health emergency is a flawed policy that puts children at risk. 

  • Alberta Education has allowed the creation of a province-wide Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Network organized by adults who are unaccountable to parents and government, adults who have taken on the goals of advising/indoctrinating GSA clubs in schools and coordinating between GSA clubs and other LGBTTTPQQAI+ agencies. These latter agencies are also not accountable to parents and government. Click here to access information on the Alberta GSA Network. The “GSA club – GSA Network – LGBTTTPQQAI+ Agency chain” acts as a biased/unregulated influence portal into our education system. No equivalent advocacy instrument exists to promote or affirm heteronormative sexuality/gender development of our youth.

  • The result has been extraordinary growth in Alberta children declaring sexuality/gender confusion and/or self-identifying as LGBTTTPQQAI+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Two-Spirit, Pansexual, Queer, Questioning, Asexual, Aromantic, Ally, Intersex, etc.…). Click here for proof, including latest Edmonton public schools survey results.

  • The consequences have been extraordinary erosion of historic parent child-rearing powers, rights, and responsibilities, and ever mounting parental discord and public protest. Click here for a summary of parental concerns.  Recent actions by other provincial “conservative” governments (NB – Premier Higgs PC, ON – Premier Ford PC, SK – Premier Moe SK Party) on behalf of parenting rights has resulted in grassroots UCP AGM resolutions to help remedy the situation.

3 - Related UCP AGM Nov 2023 Resolutions

Policy Proposal 8 reads: Require Teachers, Schools, and School Boards to obtain the written consent of the parent/guardian of a student under the age of 16 prior to changing the name and/or pronouns used by the student.

Policy Proposal 17 reads: Support a comprehensive Bill of Parental Rights which ensures that all legislation will recognize and support parents’ rights to be informed of and in-charge of all decisions to do with all services paid for by the province, including education and health care.

Policy Proposal 20 reads: Ensure that teachers, schools, school boards, and third parties providing services to kindergarten to Grade 12 schools do not provide access to materials of a sexual, racist, or abusive nature, including, but not limited to, books, handouts, online materials, and live events that are not part of the Alberta Program of Studies.

4 - Parents’ Bill of Rights to be Clarified in the Alberta Education Act

 

Definitions:

     “independent student” includes students 18 years of age and older, or 16 years or older and a) living independently as determined by a

      board in accordance with section 6 of the Alberta Education Act, or b) a party to an agreement under Section 57.2 of the Child, Youth and            Family Enhancement Act, are considered “independent” under the Education Act. Any student 18 years of age and older or 16 years of age          and older and considered legally “independent” as defined above, may register in an Alberta school without parental consent.

      [Education Act s.6)

     “dependent student” includes all students not eligible for “independent” registration.  The dependent student registration form must be                  completed in its entirety by a legal guardian or parent for each kindergarten to grade 12 student.

Explicit parenting rights regarding their child’s (i.e. dependent student’s) education follow. Note the clarification of rights needed for rational, fair and balanced compliance with Alberta Family Law Act s.21 (5 (a & b) and 6 (a, c, d, e, g, & h) and existing Education Act s.35.1 and s.58.1 are highlighted in “red text.” The remaining rights are taken from Premier Moe’s Parents’ Rights Bill model.

Subject to the other provisions of the Education Act, a parent or guardian of a dependent student has the right to:

  1. act as the primary decision-maker with respect to the student’s education;

  2. be informed on a regular basis of the student's attendance, behaviour and academic achievement in school;

  3. consult with the student's teachers and other employees of the school with respect to the pupil's courses of study and academic achievement;

  4. have access to the student’s school file;

  5. receive information respecting the courses of study available to the pupil, including online learning, and to make decisions as to which courses of study the student enrolls in;

  6. be informed of the code of conduct and administrative policies, including discipline and behaviour management policies, of the school;

  7. be informed of any disciplinary action or investigation taken by the school in relation to the student’s conduct;

  8. if the student has been expelled from school, request a review and reconsideration of the expulsion after the expiration of one year;

  9. be informed and consulted in relation to the student’s school attendance problems;

  10. be consulted in or request a review in relation to the student’s capacity to learn;

  11. excuse the student from participating in the opening exercises;

  12. be consulted before any medical or dental examination or treatment is provided to the student;

  13. receive notice in accordance with Education Act “Notice to Parent” (s.58.1) at least two weeks before the instruction or exercises are executed;

  14. know who is prejudicing their children’s sexual and gender development, where and when this is happening, and what their children are being told in the GSA club and GSA Network;  

  15. provide written consent before the student becomes a member of a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) or attends a GSA club or GSA Network event, if the student is under 16 years of age;

  16. provide written consent before the student provides a sexual orientation/gender identity (SOGI) self-identification to the school, if the student is under 16 years of age; and

  17. be a member of the school community council.

5 – Critical Analysis of Saskatchewan’s Name Change/Pronoun Usage Law

The law in Saskatchewan’s Parents’ Rights Bill, reads: In accordance with section 197.4, if the pupil is under 16 years of age, provide consent before the pupil’s teachers and other employees of the school use the pupil’s new gender-related preferred name or gender identity at school.

Likewise, UCP Policy Proposal 8 reads: Require Teachers, Schools, and School Boards to obtain the written consent of the parent/guardian of a student under the age of 16 prior to changing the name and/or pronouns used by the student.

Note that children may identify as transgender, pansexual, transexual, genderqueer, intersex, bigender, gender fluid, polygender, bisexual, asexual, queer etc. without changing their name or pronoun usage. Moreover, if a name change is requested, it is far too late in the child’s development to be the trigger point to notify the parents.

Proposal 8 rationale reads in part: Schools should not be in the business of going behind parents’ backs. Should Proposal 8 become law, it will remain legal for schools to continue to “go behind parent’s backs,” given the child does not ask for a name change or new pronoun usage. Moreover, the development/health risks resulting from empowerment of students to secret GSA club membership and GSA Network involvement, and to secret SOGI self-identity while at school, starting in kindergarten, remain unchanged.

6 - Conclusion

Thanks to the recent legislative actions by New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan, and continuing protests across the country, the UCP can no longer avoid taking remedial legal action to remedy the governance malady. A parents’ bill of rights is the optimum approach.

 

Premier Smith must clarify by legal standard at what age it is safe, indeed in the best interests of the child, to give students full secrecy and complete independence from parental oversight and consent, regarding: (1) who they associate with in the “GSA club – GSA Network – LGBTTTPQQAI+ Agency chain;” and (2) when they can decide and give a sexual orientation or gender identity to their school. 

Alberta’s parenting rights issues and children’s health concerns are much more severe than possibly resolved through parental consent rights to “name change and pronoun usage” in schools, for students ages 5 to 15. In our proposed Alberta Parents’ Rights Bill, items (o), (p) and (q) represent the minimum remedy to clarify parenting oversight and consent rights in the sexuality and gender development of their children. 

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Carman Bradley

Grandfather and Founder Parental Consent Alberta

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