Family launches suit against school board over Christian faith

A father of two elementary school children is suing their Ontario public school board for allegedly infringing on the family’s Christian and moral beliefs.

The family has been battling the school board for more than a year because they want to be able to see all of the teacher’s lesson plans, exercises and material that might violate their Christian beliefs before it’s taught to the children.

The “beleaguered” father says he has suffered discrimination and that the school has failed to offer reasonable accomodation for his family’s beliefs.

Ottawa lawyer Albertos Polizogopoulos, who is providing him with legal counsel, couldn’t confirm which Ontario school board was named in the lawsuit.

The suit was launched by the Parental Rights In Education Defense Fund, which was created to help parents get legal counsel to defend their “fundamental, inherent rights” as their children’s primiary educators.

“All his requests over the past year and a half have been denied,” their statement says. “He has been informed that, in the name of ‘equity,’ his parental rights and Christian beliefs must be denied.”

“The parent seeks nothing more than to be given advance notice so that he can either withdraw his children before the lesson, or prepare his children in advance for what they may be taught.”

After several complaints from the father, school board staff said he should pull his children out of the school and enrol them in a private school instead.

The board’s reactions to their concerns made the family feel “unwelcome” at the school.

The case was launched “after observing that parental rights, notably the right to raise and educate children in a manner consistent with a family’s religious and moral beliefs, were being consistently challenged,” the statement continues.

The father’s name and details about the lawsuit are going to be revealed at a press conference at Queen’s Park on Monday.

The father is expected to make a statement about his plight.

Most recently, it was the Catholic school system that faced a lawsuit over religious beliefs.

Last December, non-practicing lawyer Reva Landau in Toronto filed a suit against the Ontario government alleging it is discriminatory for the government to fund Catholic schools beyond the minimum required by their Constitutional “obligation” without extending similar funding to other faiths.

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