Teachers face a momentous task, especially with the arrival of the radical sex-ed curriculum: each year, along with juggling all their other commitments, they must try their best to be a strong counterforce to the prevailing culture of death for their students.
James McManamy, a religion teacher at Christ the King Catholic Secondary School in Georgetown, Ont. told The Interim, “with the schools these days being filled with a larger number who are not Catholic, not Christian, uncertain, atheistic, and ‘there for the sports,’ one can no longer presume a pro-life point of view,” even in the separate (Catholic) school system in Ontario. “The biggest challenge is trying to convince students who are infected with secular humanism and relativism that there is such a thing as objective truth and everything is not just opinion.”
McManamy is one of more than 400 four teachers, homeschooling, and school board trustees who regularly receive The Interim Plus, a free pro-life and pro-family curriculum supplement, by email.
The Interim Plus, which can also be accessed online, is self-described as “a periodical dedicated to educational matters and specifically designed to assist teachers in integrating relevant life issues in their lesson planning.” The curriculum supplement contains explanations, resources, questions, and activities on timely, relevant topics ranging from “Thermodynamics: The Big Bang, The Start of Life and Conception” to “Frankenstein: A Lesson in Hubris.” Recent issues covered include electoral reform, technology and artificial intelligence, and a reflection on Easter.
Kevin Moore, who teaches religion at St. Brother André Catholic High School in Markham, Ont., appreciates how The Interim Plus provides an “open and diverse perspective” and an opportunity for students to think of the outside world and current controversial matters like euthanasia. His own mother has Alzheimer’s and he believes it is important for students to realize that staff also deal with similar issues as them.
The Interim Plus editor and former principal Dan DiRocco thinks that addressing life issues in the classroom is essential because teachers “can reach students in a manner and through material that upholds basic faith and moral principles without being preachy.” Many teachers, though, say it is difficult to find such material to incorporate into their subjects, and do not have the time to do the necessary research, which is why the curriculum supplement was first developed in 2001.
Toronto Right to Life is also working to support teachers, both in high schools and elementary schools. Though TRTL does provide speakers, Blaise Alleyne, president of TRTL, says “just giving classroom presentations once a year isn’t enough” because “teachers are with their students every day, and they have a special relationship with students that a guest speaker could never have. Equipping them to address life issues in their classrooms means far more opportunities to reach students on the life issues.”
As such, TRTL also offers Learning the Life Issues Curriculum, a teacher version of their Student Club Manual, and other classroom materials. This school year they will be continuing these initiatives and adding new ones under a new program called Teacher Life Link. Michelle Caluag, TRTL Youth Coordinator, will be aiding staff and students in running school pro-life clubs and doing outreach activities. TRTL also plans to form a Teacher Life Link Committee, organize meetups for local pro-life teachers, connect with pro-lifers in teachers’ college, and encourage teachers to participate in pro-life apologetics and dialogue training.
Alleyne says the pro-life movement should “put pro-life education in the service of pro-life action.” He looks forward to “viewing teachers as key partners, and as leaders to invest in, mentor, equip, and support directly in taking pro-life action to change the culture in our schools and in our city.”