Alta. gov't passes controversial Bill 44
Members of the Alberta Legislature passed the legislation Tuesday allowing parents to remove their children out of classes dealing with sex, religion or sexual orientation.
After hours of debate, the Bill 44 was approved in the early morning hours.
"There's a lot of emotion and a lot of angst and a lot of misinformation on both sides but I think the people of Alberta are better off for it," said Culture Minister, Lindsay Blackett.
And with the bill in place, school boards are now required to notify parents in writing any time the controversial topics will be addressed in class.
A large majority of Alberta teachers have voted to fight the bill. Many teachers now fear the legislation could subject them to human rights lawsuits.
"We'll need to review curricula right across all subjects and all grades to see where there might be a minefield, if you will, that a teacher might step in and suddenly find themselves in deep trouble," said Frank Bruseker, president of the Alberta Teachers' Association.
Nathalie Weiswasser even joined a Facebook group fighting the bill.
"It's just sort of like a step back, kind of regressive, and I don't know how we're supposed to progress as a human race if we're just cutting off information," said Weiswasser.
And the opposition didn't hesitate to express their views on Tuesday's outcome.
"Education should not be teaching children what to think it should be teaching them how to think and this bill really works against it," said NDP Leader Brian Mason.
Education Minister Dave Hancock said he will be meeting soon with teachers and school boards.
The Canada Family Action Coalition, a Christian faith-based conservative group, also expressed strong opinions against the bill and sent letters to all MLAs voicing their concerns last week.
On Monday, a group of gay and lesbian protesters rallied against the bill outside the legislature.
With files from the Canadian Press, CTV.ca News Staff and Scott Roberts