A Catholic school in Ottawa has backtracked on a decision to not allow two grade 6 students to present a social justice project on gay rights following complaints from parents
The gay rights project has been approved!!
— Ann Maloney (@acmaloney) December 9, 2014
In a statement explaining the ban in November, the Ottawa Catholic School Board (CSB) said:
“Our Family Life curriculum (Fully Alive) covers all topics around personhood, relationships and sexuality and is developed and taught in an age-appropriate manner. The Board ensures that a pastoral approach is used during the learning process. Parents are notified before sexuality topics are taught in class.
“The principal's decision was made in this context and with the understanding that the project was going to be presented to younger students.
“Our Board's focus on equity and family life programs ensures students are taught within the context of our faith, with a focus on the dignity of personhood.”
Following the ban, students Quinn Maloney-Tavares and Polly Hamilton met with Jeremy Dias of Jer’s Vision, an activist organization that seeks to eliminate homophobia and transphobia in schools and youth communities.
The decision to now allow the project to go ahead comes following a meeting between the girls, their parents and the principal of St. George School near Tunney’s Pasture.
Following the decision, the CSB said:
"The girls will be doing a project on how the topic of gay rights is addressed by a Catholic high school’s equity club. The girls will be welcome to present their project at the social justice fair."
Quinn’s mother Ann Maloney said:
"One person can make change because they came up against a roadblock and took some action and they were able to change the way people think. I think that's a pretty powerful feeling for them to have at such a young age."
Maloney added that although she has received positive messages from parents, some messages have been “very unpleasant.”