Progress in Chilliwack

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend this evening’s school board meeting in Chilliwack, so I only have second hand reports from Twitter to go on. Nevertheless, the news is out that the Board voted to repeal their policy supporting the distribution of Gideon Bibles.

The Board was further unable to come to an agreement on bringing in a new policy to regulate the distribution of materials in schools. This new policy could have been similar to Abbotsford’s policy which is vague and leaves the rules about specific materials up to the superintendent. In Abbotsford this means a number of schools reportedly do distribute Gideon Bibles. Other districts maintain policies that reference the School Act’s mandated secularism.

In the absence of a policy, it seems likely that the decision is up to the superintendent, in which case the current practice may continue.

Hopefully the reports tomorrow and on Thursday will clear up the details. In either case, the BC Humanist Association will continue to advocate for secular values and freedom from religion in BC schools.

Update According to Chilliwack Times reporter Cornelia Naylor on Twitter, the Board is giving staff until March to draft a distribution of materials policy.

Comments on: "Progress in Chilliwack" (1)

  1. Brian Lang said:

    I think BC Humanists need to put some pressure on the Abbotsford School District now. I wrote this to the AbbyNews, but they haven’t seen fit to print it:

    I strongly believe that the Abbotsford School District must cease distributing any religious materials through the schools. If the practice of distributing bibles does not stop, we need to follow through to the logical conclusion: religious texts for all the world’s major religions as must be distributed as well. We can start with the holy scriptures of the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Islamic faiths. Paganism and Satanism too, why not. Greek and Roman gods too. Since freedom of religion includes freedom from religion as well, non-religious texts such as The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins must also be distributed. If you open the door to one religion, you must open the door to all. That’s what the Charter of Rights and Freedoms grants us as citizens in this country. Is the Abbotsford School board going to follow through and cease distribution, or are they going to waste taxpayer money fighting a legal battle on the subject? You know there will be someone in Abbotsford who will be willing to challenge this decision at a Human Rights tribunal, or in court. And they will win. Public schools in BC are required by law to be secular, and distributing religious material for one faith, or many faiths, breaks that law.

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