Two thousand people gather at Legislature to protest new education act
Source: Global Edmonton
March 19, 2012
About two thousand people gathered outside the Legislature Monday, to protest proposed changes to Alberta's Education Act.
This is the second time in two weeks parents, many of whom homeschool their children, have come together to fight section 16 of Bill 2, which includes the Alberta Human Rights Act.
Parents say they are concerned the new education act will infringe on their right to teach their children what they want. While the majority of people protesting were homeschooling parents, other groups including some public school parents and the group Alberta Citzens for Diversity were also represented.
They say it will dictate what they can and cannot teach their children within their own home and what control parents will have in what their children is taught in school.
They came together to protest the bill, which may not even pass.
The house stops sitting on Thursday and an election is expected to be called soon after meaning this bill may not go anywhere. However, protesters say that isn't going to stop them.
"The concern would be that they're just going to pull it before an election to pass it afterwards when there's not as much influence, possibly, as people could have," says Patty Marler of the Alberta Home Education Association adding, "We're not going away. This is something that's not only going to affect our children today, this act will affect us for generations to come."
Alberta's Education Minister, Thomas Lukaszuk, responded last week by amending Bill 2 to include new preamble which talks about paramountcy of parental rights however, protesters say it still isn't enough.
"The preamble has no legal authority, it only speaks to the intent of the act," says Patty Marler of the Alberta Home Education Association.