The bedrock for developing a respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms is universal public education.
However, since 1977, successive governments in British Columbia have sought to create a two-tiered education system through a public subsidy to independent schools. A majority of these schools are faith based, while others charge prohibitive tuitions. These barriers segregate society along sectarian and socio-economic lines. Further, the Government has a duty to protect the rights of children, recognized under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, in religious independent schools. Humanists have also welcomed innovative and experimental forms of education.
Under our call for an end to public funding of independent schools, the British Columbia Humanist Association:
- Supports the principle of public funds for public education;
- Opposes public funding going to faith-based education;
- Joins calls for the phase out of public funding to all independent schools;
- Supports greater innovation within the public education system; and
- Calls on the Government of BC to ensure:
- the religious neutrality of the Office of the Inspector of Independent
- all independent schools meet comparable curriculum standards as public
- students in independent schools are free from discrimination and their
freedoms of religion and expression are protected.
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Join our call for public funds for public education
Despite an increasingly secular population, the school acts and regulations in five provinces still permit religious exercises in Canada according to a new analysis from the BC Humanist Association. Court cases in Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia have deemed the practice illegal but the school acts of three prairie provinces...
As our province grows increasingly diverse, the need for a strong and inclusive public education system has never been more apparent. At the heart of this endeavor lies the foundation of a humanist society, where reason, compassion, and critical thinking flourish. We recognize the profound importance of public education as...
The distribution of Gideon Bible in BC actually only ended in December 2016.
Did you know that BC requires every public school to be "strictly secular and non sectarian"?
In fact, this requirement has been in place since the School Act was first introduced in 1872.
Despite the legal requirement that all schools be “strictly secular,” our initial review has found that only 7 of the 60 public school districts in British Columbia have a policy that explicitly limits religious proselytization in schools.
The BC Humanist Association today renewed its call for a Secular BC in its response to the finance committee's consultations for Budget 2023. In its response, the organization calls for an end to funding of religious and elite private schools, the end of the statutory property tax exemption for places...
While they receive hundreds of millions of dollars in public funding, private schools in BC are excluding LGBTQ2S+ parents, families and staff; teaching creationism and even banning Halloween and school dances, according to our latest analysis. In the first part of our three-part series, we looked at schools teaching creationism in science...
While they receive hundreds of millions of dollars in public funding, private schools in BC are excluding LGBTQ2S+ parents, families and staff; teaching creationism and even banning Halloween and school dances, according to our latest analysis. In the first part, we looked at schools teaching creationism in science classrooms. In this...
While they receive hundreds of millions of dollars in public funding, private schools in BC are excluding LGBTQ2S+ parents, families and staff, teaching creationism and even banning Halloween and school dances, according to our latest analysis. In this first part of our three-part series, we look at schools where the teaching...
In its response to the province's Budget 2022 consultation, the BCHA is calling on the Government of BC to end the funding of private schools and property tax exemptions for places of worship
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