Couple of quick education-related items for ya. First, one from my own province, one that spells bad news for institutionalized bigotry:
Ontarians favour the right of students to form gay-straight alliance clubs in Catholic schools by a margin of almost two to one, a new poll suggests.
The Forum Research survey also found more than half of Ontario residents — 53 per cent — oppose the public funding of Catholic schools with 40 per cent supportive and 6 per cent unsure.
As the issue of gay-straight alliances dominates debate around new anti-bullying legislation, the poll concluded people are accepting of the anti-homophobia clubs designed to promote tolerance.
Fifty-one per cent agreed that students in publicly funded Catholic schools should be allowed to form clubs under that sometimes contentious name with 28 per cent opposed and 21 per cent undecided.
“Now that people are more familiar with them, there’s more support for them,” Forum president Lorne Bozinoff told the Star on Tuesday.
Forum’s interactive voice response telephone survey of 1,072 Ontarians was conducted Monday.
And if the Vatican wants to go on indoctrinating kids in bigotry, forcing them to participate in anti-choice bullshit, and consigning at least one in ten of them self-hate and closet-hiding, I suggest it start paying for that out of its own capacious pocket. After all, it’s got its own fucking bank.
Meanwhile, in La Belle Province, the three-month-old student strike has some allies that may surprise some of you:
Surreal scenes at a Quebec college underscored Tuesday how bizarre the student-related conflict has become — and how difficult it might be to resolve.
Consider this: A court order had forced the school to reopen; as a result, some teachers and parents helped striking students form a picket line to keep other kids out; riot police then burst through to help enforce the court order; and, in the end, the school closed again because teachers weren’t prepared to teach.
The height of Tuesday’s standoff at Collège Lionel-Groulx saw riot police use pepper spray and physical force to help 53 students return to class after winning a court injunction.
But the self-described strikers, many of them wearing masks, have received support from some parents and school faculty who stood alongside them in a show of solidarity at the school north of Montreal.
After a few days of picketing, police moved in Tuesday. They issued warnings before bursting in and arresting five people, including a professor from another school.
As they blasted the crowd with chemical irritants, some of the protesters hugged and wept. Some of their adult supporters reportedly did the same.
And it all appeared for nought.
A few hours later, after staff meetings, the college issued a statement: Lionel-Groulx would remain closed for two more days, on Wednesday and Thursday. The professors said they were too emotional to be able to teach classes regularly.
So the school has shut its doors until Friday, at the earliest, at which point a new injunction takes effect.
I suspect that one will also be breached. The strikers are nothing if not monumentally determined, and what they are doing could well catch on elsewhere. Nothing like the tyranny of a good example, which is why the cops are now out in force. But if we have a police state on our hands, we also have huge popular opposition to it…and parents and teachers are part of that opposition.
Meaning, the traditional forces of social conservatism are actually in trouble on more fronts than one!