Students can opt out of religious classes at Catholic school after complaint settled

Jun 20, 2017

By Michelle McQuigge

Students at an Ontario Catholic school board will soon have more flexibility to opt out of religious courses and programs thanks to a human rights settlement that could have implications across the province.

A human rights complaint lodged against the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board by a former student has resulted in changes to the board’s exemption policies and an agreement to encourage other boards to adopt a similar approach.

The complaint, filed by Claudia Sorgini in 2016, alleged the student was discriminated against when she sought an exemption from religious classes. The case was to go before the province’s human rights tribunal but was privately settled late last month.

Sorgini’s lawyer Paul Champ said the settlement represents a victory for students in Catholic schools across Ontario.

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4 comments on “Students can opt out of religious classes at Catholic school after complaint settled

  • This site seems to be quite quiet lately. Is Richard still ill? I was hoping to learn more from this brilliant man, but most of the content offered here is stuff I have seen before, other than the Ontario catholic school story which was well covered in the press.



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  • Adrian Janssens #1
    Jun 21, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    This site seems to be quite quiet lately. Is Richard still ill?

    I think he has been busy on a series of lecture tours. (see the RDFS home page for the adverts of the current ones)



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  • 3
    fadeordraw says:

    This is actually, including history, public money and religiosity, about ON CA provincial governance. You see, some 150 yrs ago, the Canadian constitution (the BNA Act) intentionally made education a provincial responsibility; a Canadian compromise allowing the Quebec provincial jurisdiction over education, thus ensuring RC jurisdiction over education and young Quebec’s RC church-dominated rural communities (all would end 50 yrs ago with the Quiet Revolution and Quebec is now the most secular jurisdiction in NA). The compromise within the Ontario jurisdiction was to publicly fund both the Public “Protestant” schools and RC schools, with their boards, trustees, under fairly, without the years, hands-on Ministerial regulations. The Public schools became secular learning; through with a Scottish/protestant work ethic that is unquestioned. The two-part public funding of grade-school education, entrenched again some 50 yrs ago by an existing ON Premiere; but with respect to overhead, to say nothing about what’s going into children’s heads, this has gotta be a public money inefficient scheme. So this ruling asked the question, should ON, CA continue public money for a system of grade-school (pre-post-secondary) education explicitly involved in religious-based indoctrination; rather than literacy and numeracy, science and the Shakespearean Arts.
    So for Ontario, where education is a provincial responsibility, we just might be coming near to cutting this public funding umbilical cord attached to the fantasy-based education of future generations.



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  • @OP – Students at an Ontario Catholic school board will soon have more flexibility to opt out of religious courses and programs thanks to a human rights settlement that could have implications across the province.

    Ah! . . . but those students are missing out on learning “Catholic morality”! 🙂

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2014/11/victims-of-historic-child-sex-abuse-speak-out-after-catholic-church-refuses-to-accept-liability-for-the-crimes-of-their-priests/#li-comment-223155



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