Over at Every Day for Life, Lou Iacobelli has a very good post on Ontario’s Bill 13, the so-called Accepting Schools Act. Put simply, Iacobelli says, “beyond the anti-bullying rhetoric, there’s a political correctness LGBT agenda which the Bill is promoting.” As we noted in our January editorial:

Dr. Rondo Thomas of The Evangelical Association pointed out at the press conference that another dangerous clause in the bill appears to target churches and Christian groups by prohibiting rental or use of public schools by external organizations that do not comply with the “provincial code of conduct.” Thomas said that hundreds of evangelical churches currently rent space for worship services from public schools. This clause, he predicted, would be used to ban those churches should they dare to preach, or be known to preach, about biblical passages that deal with sexuality. Could this clause potentially prohibit Christian groups, even in Catholic schools? For example, would the Vatican-approved Courage ministry for persons with same-sex attraction, be considered in violation of the “code of conduct” for its known opposition to homosexual behaviour? It seems crazy, but one year ago, the thought of openly homosexual clubs in Catholic schools seemed crazy too.

Genuine bullying needs to be stopped, but by focusing on one group, and including restrictions similar to the one Rondo Thomas pointed to, the McGuinty government action begs serious questions about whether it cares about bullying at all, or whether it is using bullying as cover to push it’s pro-gay agenda.

The Accepting Schools Act purports to combat bullying, but as the editorial notes, body shape and size are the most common forms of bullying yet they are unmentioned among the supposed bases of bullying in the legislation. Why is that? One can only assume because Bill 13 has a political agenda that has little or nothing to do with bullying and more to do with acceptance of various political correct positions, most notably gay rights. The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada noted in a review of Ontario’s Equity and Inclusive Education strategy, there are dangers involved in moving from tolerance to acceptance. The IMFC states that the active promotion of official acceptance in schools, paradoxically, is at odds with the goal of diversity:

Diversity will only flourish in Ontario schools when students are encouraged to respectfully interact with different thoughts and opinions. Bill 13 turns educators into co-parents, usurping the rights of actual parents to be the primary educator of their children, especially in matters of morality. It is notable how illiberal and jealous the modern state is that it cannot countenance opposing views and claims. The McGuinty government is dressing up their highly charged political agenda under the guise of battling bullying. The public and parents might not permit this to happen if the Liberals were open about their agenda, so they must make misleading appeals and arguments. Ontarians need to open their eyes to what is happening. What is in the bill that has nothing to do with bullying (preventing Christian groups from renting school property in the evenings and on weekends) and what isn’t in the bill (any mention of the most common forms of bullying) betrays the real agenda.

Ontario’s Equity and Inclusion Strategy document states that students must move “beyond tolerance to acceptance and respect.”  If tolerance is the respectful interaction of diverse viewpoints, then moving beyond it to acceptance will constrict both freedom and equality in Ontario schools.