Impact of Bill 10 on School Notification to Parents
In March 2015, Bill 10, the Act to Amend the Alberta Bill of Rights to Protect our Children, received Royal Assent. Among other changes, this legislation has shifted requirements that were previously under the Alberta Human Rights Act and brings them under the School Act instead.
Section 50.1 of the School Act now outlines a parent's ability to have their child excluded, without academic penalty, from instruction, exercises, and the use of instructional materials that deal primarily and explicitly with religion or human sexuality.
This legislation requires that school boards notify parents when students will be receiving instruction that includes subject matter that deals primarily and explicitly with religion or human sexuality, allowing the opportunity for a parent to have their child opt out. In such cases when a child is exempted from programming under Section 50.1, the child may either:
a) leave the classroom or place where the instruction is taking place or where the instructional material being used for the duration of that part of the instruction; or
b) remain in the classroom or place where the instruction is taking place without taking part in the instruction or use of instructional material.
EIPS expects this legislation should not affect the high quality of classroom instruction and discussion that are the hallmarks of our education system, nor should it compromise our curriculum or teaching practices.