Alberta’s education minister lets slip his disdain for parental rights

To him, the parents’ concern for a child is no greater than that of the general public

It surely would seem wise these days for people who live in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario to pay close attention to the language being used by their ministers of education, and the people under contract to assist them. In Alberta, particularly, the socialist government is planning what they see as the momentous changes ever made in the school curriculum. We should watch carefully the language and terminology they use. And when the language is purposely obscure, it is the clear responsibility of the opposition to force them to define it.

Last month, for instance, the Education Minister David Eggen introduced bills forcing both Catholic and Protestant schools to follow a sex education policy which is seriously at odds with Christian teaching. They are now being threatened with de-funding, which would probably mean closed down, if they disobey.

Twice in brief interviews that preceded the introduction of the legislation, Eggen said schools would be prohibited by law from “outing” students by informing the parents that their son or daughter had joined one of the sex clubs being promoted by the government throughout the public school system. Now what does Eggen mean by “outing?” He didn’t tell us. We’re supposed to know. To “out” a thing means to make it known to the public at large.

I know this point has been made before, but I think it needs to be emphasized because it discloses something about this man that the electors should be acutely aware of. If to “out” somebody means to tell the public at large, and if telling a parent means “outing” the student, then this must mean that in the minister’s view there is nothing unique in the parent-child relationship. He thinks the parent’s interest in the child and the interest of the general public amount to the same thing.

So there’s nothing special about parents. That’s what his use of the word “outs” tells us. It also tells us he’s a very dangerous man, especially in the education portfolio. And since he’s almost certainly unaware of the implications of what he’s saying, this makes him foolish as well, and therefore doubly dangerous.

About six times during these interviews, the minister repeated the term “safe and caring”– a safe and caring environment” for certain children, a “safe and caring attitude” by the staff, a “safe and caring refuge” from bullying. No one could doubt his sincerity, though one might wonder about its dimensions. That is, does he give the faintest damn about their safety from disease of these children? I mentioned in this space a couple of weeks ago the warning issued by the American Center for Disease Control what it called the “alarming” rise in Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) among people, especially males, between ages 15 and 25.

The warning did not mention that this rise closely parallels the proliferation of these sex clubs through the American school system, but it firmly recommended that anyone actively engaged in such sexual activities that the clubs represent should have a physical examination for STDs at least once a year. There’s one bare half-sentence reference to health dangers in the huge glassy sex-ed manual put out by the teachers’ union, and funded by Eggen’s department. That report was dated in 2015. The Disease Control Center now tells us that in both the two intervening years, the infection rate among 15- to 25-year-olds the infection rate grew worse.

One is driven to ask, of course: What measures has Mr. Eggen taken (if any) to establish routine annual checks for STDs on the members of these clubs? Does he not think this might have something to contribute to the “safe and caring” environment of these studemnts? Has the provincial Department of ‘”Wellness” been consulted at all, or does Mr. Eggen not regard the possibility of life-crippling or life-terminating infection by chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and syphilis as a metter for concern? Will clubs be showing the students the pictures of grotesquely swollen or gradually rotting sex organs– such as war-time soldiers were sometimes shown before they went on leave in disease-ridden cities? Funny that there were no such pictures in the teachers’ union’s fancy big sex-ed book. Thy don’t seem to think it matters.

Finally, would somebody help me with two other terms. I mean the new “phobias” — Islamo and Homo. A phobia, I realize, is an irrational fear. So Islamophobia must mean “fear of Islam” But is it irrational? Pretty well every day now, somewhere in the world, somebody, often quite a few people, are murdered in the name of Allah and/or Islam. Why, then, is it irrational to fear this religion? Because, we’re told, the people who do these things aren’t truly Muslim. Of what possible significance is this? The terrorists think they’re right, so fear them. Where’s the irrationality?

As for homophobia, it depends what the term means. If it means, do I fear gays? Of course not. I’ve known a dozen or more and nearly all were very good guys. But if it means, do I fear what they do? Well of course I fear that. Give me three good reasons, somebody asked. Okay, for starters, how about chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and syphilis?

Ted Byfield was founder and publisher of Alberta Report news magazine, general editor of Alberta in the Twentieth Century. a 12-volume history of the province, and general editor of The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years, a 12-volume history of Christianity. His column on education appears in The, a web journal. He has recently authored two little books on modern pedagogy: Why History Matters and The Revolution Nobody Covered. You can order both copies here.



3 thoughts on “Alberta’s education minister lets slip his disdain for parental rights

Add yours

  1. While the parents are kept in the dark, everyone in the school will know, and maybe , ironically,their parents.
    It may be worse than you say , Ted. The education minister may believe that parents are worse for children than the general public.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: