Redford open to looking at Bill 44

I currently work in Art Education. Bill 44 has limited my ability to have open and honest conversations about contemporary art with students in my city. I also see the impact it has had on student’s maturity about contemporary art and about human sexuality in general. The ability to look at a piece of art that has tones of sexuality suddenly disables many students (esp. those in Junior High and High School) from taking it seriously and having a discussion about it’s merits as a piece of art work. They are diminished to giggles, embarrassed glances and in some a feeling of intense discomfort.

We are not supposed to talk about sexuality in polite society, in schools or in any professional atmosphere. We are creating a disadvantage for students by sheltering them many parts of life – literature, art, spirituality and of course science.

I cannot help but be heartened to hear Redford is open to discussing the section of Bill 44 that limits topics of human sexuality from Alberta’s education system. I am even more happy to hear her recognition that this section is a policy decision that does NOT support education or healthy development. It is a policy decision that harms Alberta’s youth and future generation.

Jason Markusoff, Calgary Herald:
Nancy writes:

In 2010, Bill 44 introduced a new section to the Human Rights Act that says teachers must get permission from parents to teach any subject matter that “deals primarily and explicitly with religion, sexuality or sexual orientation ” This section will make it more difficult to address issues of “sexual orientation” to all children in the classroom.
Teachers now feel like they have to avoid answering direct questions and are unable to properly support their students during classroom discussions. They are afraid of facing complaints and the consequences of them.
Given the high rates of gay teen suicide and our recognition for the need to tell them “It Gets Better” through a social media campaign, would you support scrapping that section of the Human Rights Act.


Alison Redford:
This is troublesome – and I know that there was real concern on this issue at the time – we will be taking a look at where we are – on this and on Section 3 – I wont preclude a discussion on this in the future

Jason Markusoff, Calgary Herald:
What do you mean by “troublesome”?

Alison Redford:
Sorry – wrong word – it concerns me that we could have kids in school who are not gettting the info and support that they need to have to live healthy lives – we can have policies that harm kids

Regardless of the outcome of the election – whenever that may be, I hope Bill 44 will come under a microscope and our leaders will not bow to outdated ideas based on archaic and damaging values.

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