Stephanie Vande Kraats resigned as a teacher at Surrey Christian School after administrators allegedly told her that her contract would not be renewed because she was living with a man she wasn't married to, according to a story from CBC's Go Public.
I didn't want to continue in a place where I already felt humiliated and judged. It was traumatic for me.
-Stephanie Vande Kraats
The school is just one of many independent schools across British Columbia with discriminatory admissions or staffing policies, several of which were profiled by the BC Humanist Association in December. Further, according to the BCHA's calculations, Surrey Christian School received at least $4 million from the Government of BC in the 2017-18 school year. Nearly two-thirds of public funding for independent schools goes to Christian or Catholic schools.
CBC reports that Surrey Christian School is one of 35 members of the Society of Christian Schools in BC that observe a community standards policy that forbids sex outside a heterosexual marriage, abortions, assisted deaths and other "lifestyle expectations."
Ian Bushfield, Executive Director, BC Humanist Association:
Unfortunately, Ms Vande Kraats story is likely all too familiar for teachers, students and parents involved in many religious schools across BC. As she tells CBC, many teachers feel silenced by administrators that can influence their future career prospects.
It's shameful that the Government of BC not only allows this discrimination to occur but actively funds schools that perpetuate it. There's no excuse for the province to be funding discrimination; it's time to close the purse strings.
Read more about the BC Humanist Association's work supporting Public Funds for Public Education:
- Fox in the henhouse: Oversight of BC independent schools
- Who reaps the most rewards? The landscape of independent school funding in BC
- BC subsidizes the teaching of creationism in science class
- End funding of independent schools - BC finance committee brief
- Are LGBTQ2+ families welcome at BC independent schools?
Photo credit: Erica Johnson/CBC (Copyright CBC, used under fair dealing)