Earlier this week the National Post ran an advertisement that has caused some controversy. The ad, bought by the Institute for Canadian Values, argued against aspects of the Ontario school curriculum that include instruction about certain aspects of human sexuality.
Specifically, it objected to teaching young children — those between junior kindergarten and Grade 3 — about transsexual/transgender/intersexed/two-spirited issues. The ad in question was attempting to make the case that the Ontario curriculum was teaching very young children about issues that, at that age, should be the domain of parents. In addition, it made the case that even when parents or teachers may object to the material being taught, they did not have the right, in the case of parents, to remove their children from the class, or in the case of teachers, to decline to teach the material on the grounds that they objected to it. This steemed to bring a healthy discussion on what is being taught children and the right to respectfully disagree is a healthy consideration and one to be thankful that such a public examination is being made.
What is quite unusual is that on Saturday, the National Post Editorial Bord published an apology and said that: " Where the ad exceeded the bounds of civil discourse was in its tone and manipulative use of a picture of a young girl; in the suggestion that such teaching “corrupts” children, with everything that such a charge implies; and in its singling out of groups of people with whose sexuality the group disagrees. The fact that we will not be publishing this ad again represents a recognition on our part that publishing it in the first place was a mistake. The National Post would like to apologize unreservedly to anyone who was offended by it. We will be taking steps to ensure that in future our procedures for vetting the content of advertising will be strictly adhered to. The Post will also be donating the proceeds from the advertisement to an organization that promotes the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people". (http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/09/30/an-apology-from-the-national-post/)
My Response to the Natinoal Post:
The decision of the National Post editorial board this week in retracting and donating the proceeds of an advertisement to their opponents, is disturbing on multiple levels. This ad specifically addressed the Toronto District School Board’s policy of forbidding parents to opt out of its pro-homosexual curriculum. A Toronto District School Board resource guide notes that parents do not have the right to withdraw their children from classes promoting homosexual ‘marriage’.The guide suggests parents not even be advised of such matters. When asked by the media, Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty said he too opposed keeping parents in the dark about such matters and supported allowing parents to opt their children out of programs deemed offensive. However, since the controversial policy was brought to light in June there is no evidence that the Liberal Ministry of Education has asked the Toronto School Board to rescind it’s anti-parental rights policy.
Bringing a discussion on what is being taught children and the right to respectfully disagree, is a healthy consideration and one to be thankful that such a public examination is being made. On Saturday, you ran a full page ad by B'Nai Brith. If you change your mind about one of their adds, will you donate the money to Hezbollah? To take an advertisers money and then change your mind and give it to its "competitors" is not a healthy business decision, yet alone what it says about the promotion of dialogue.