The BC Humanist Association has started a petition calling on the Chilliwack School District to abandon plans to introduce a policy that would permit the distribution of Gideon Bibles in public school classrooms. Sign the petition online, print off PDF copies, or read the press release below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SECULARISTS PETITION CHILLIWACK SCHOOL BOARD TO ABANDON PROPOSED DISTRIBUTION OF MATERIALS POLICY
29 January 2013 – A new petition is calling on the Chilliwack School Board to drop its plans to introduce a new policy that permits the distribution of materials in local schools. The group behind the petition, the BC Humanist Association, fears that the policy is being introduced to allow Gideon Bibles to be distributed to students next school year.
The Board scrapped Regulation 518, which stated that “The Board approves the distribution of Gideon Youth Testaments to Grade 5 pupils with parental consent,” in November after local Chilliwack parent Richard Ajabu complained. The BC Humanist Association’s Executive Director Ian Bushfield echoed his concerns calling the practice discriminatory toward non-Christians.
The new petition argues that distributing Bibles in schools may violate Section 76 of the BC School Act, which mandates that public schools “must be conducted on strictly secular and non-sectarian principles.” It also references a letter from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association to the School Board which argued against permitting the distribution of Bibles or other religious texts.
Bushfield says that signatures will be collected online and in print throughout February to be presented to Superintendent Evelyn Novak who is gathering feedback for the proposed policy. The Board intends to discuss the policy at their March 31st meeting.
Since 1984, the BC Humanist Association has represented atheists, agnostics, and secular humanists across the province. Its vision is a secular society based on the universal values of reason and compassion.
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A print copy of the petition is attached to this page. Please print as many signature pages as necessary and return them to us at 400 - 3381 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4R3
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