Watch out, Nanaimo City Council: the Edmonton Public School Board is ready to challenge you for your Christian-banning crown.
In response to a complaint to the Alberta Human Rights Commission lodged by Kathy Dawson, the EPSB has directed public schools in the city to stop allowing the city's Pregnancy Care Centre to present an abstinence-based component of the school board's sex ed curriculum. The basis of her complaint?
"The values that they presented that they said were fact were Christian-based," Dawson complained over CBC radio.
Among her more specific complaints? "I heard fear and shame when they talked about a gonorrhea that could kill them in three days."
Well, as it just so happens medical researchers very much are concerned about a new strain of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea that they believe could kill a person in as little as three days. That's really a thing.
So get this: Kathy Dawson, who insists that she wants her daughter to receive a comprehensive sexual education, is suing the EPSB -- despite their compliance with her demands -- because presenters from the Pregnancy Care Centre taught her daughter about something that exists.
The sexual education offered by the EPSB, it seems, was a little too comprehensive.
There's a reason for that: it turns out that Kathy Dawson is not the run-of-the-mill concerned parent she's making herself out to be, and that the media are making her out to be. If they'd done their research they'd know this. I did.
As it turns out, Dawson is at least a supporter of the extreme pro-abortion -- not pro-choice -- Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada she's made several postings on their Facebook page. In one, she declares that "some human rights have been lost in Canada." She's referring to the government of New Brunswick's refusal to pay for abortions that it doesn't deem to be medically necessary. That, in itself, is not such an absurd matter to take issue with. (Although I doubt that Dawson would be willing to admit that there are human rights issues at stake in the abortion issue other than whether or not women have access to abortion.)
Another is far more nutty. In another, Dawson insists that American Crisis Pregnancy Centres are in a "conflict of interest" in teaching what she calls "defective birth control information" and then facilitating the adoption of children resulting from unplanned pregnancies.
Whoever operates the ARCC's Facebook page responded accordingly:
"They would love to go back to the old days when young single women were automatically considered unfit mothers and should have their babies taken away from them. Birth control has caused a commodity shortage for the CPCs, it's harder for them to make money."
"They are in public schools, promoting their misinformation. Are they also poaching adoptable babies?" Dawson replied.
So apparently Crisis Pregnancy Centres are in adoption for the money. Because of course there's a lot of profit to be had there, right?
The ARCC isn't the only extreme organization Dawson is at least a supporter of, and possibly even a member. Her Facebook profile also identifies her as a member of the "Femininjas" and the ironically-named "Alberta Parents for Unbiased Public Inclusive Learning." Stridently pro-abortion (not pro-choice) is a common theme on the Femininjas Facebook page. Ironically, A PUPIL routinely calls for religious schools and private schools to be denied public funding. (Not so inclusive after all, it seems.)
Dawson's complaints, as expressed to CBC radio, absolutely drip with that manner of lunacy. The presenters from the Pregnancy Care Centre were deemed to be more guilty not because of what they talked about -- although Dawson and daughter insisted over and over again that they wanted a "science-based" approach, the single example they raised turned out to be well-rooted in medical science -- but what they didn't talk about. It amounted to a failure to address a number of off-topic issues raised by Dawson and/or daughter, including LGTBQ issues.
It's absurd, but no more (or less) absurd than nodding along with a bizarre adoption-themed conspiracy theory.
So just how bizarre is Dawson's complaint to the AHRC? And just how bizarre is it that the AHRC has accepted it? Well, by her own admission the complaint essentially amounts to a demand that the Alberta Human Rights Commission mandate discrimination against Christian organizations. Apparently she has no real issue with an abstinence-based component of EPSB's sex-ed curriculum, she simply has an issue with whether or not the people who teach it hold Christian beliefs.
That's a Charter violation. And frankly the PCC should strongly consider responding to Dawson's complaint by counter-complaining.
Simply put, no part of Kathy Dawson's complaint is any more on the level than Dawson herself. After all, she actually objected to her daughter being taught about an STI that is being described as "worse than AIDS."
Think about that.