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Leaked memo from Ontario Catholic trustees on Bill 13

Leaked memo from Ontario Catholic trustees on Bill 13

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Published by Daily Xtra

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Published by: Daily Xtra on Jun 07, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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P.O. Box 2064, Suite 180420 Eglinton Avenue WestToronto, Ontario M4R 1K8T. 416.932.9460 F. 416.932.9459 ocsta@ocsta.on.cawww.ocsta.on.ca Marino Gazzola,
 Kathy Burtnik,
Vice President 
 Kevin Kobus,
 Executive Director 
1/2June 5, 2012
Chairpersons & Directors of Education
Kevin Kobus, Executive Director 
RE: Bill 13
Bill 13, including recent amendments, was passed by the Legislature today. The Bill will receiveRoyal Assent promptly and will therefore become law. The objections that OCSTA has consistentlyarticulated in recent months, including a full presentation before the Standing Committee on SocialPolicy, remain. However, now that the Bill has become law, we turn our focus to itsimplementation.OCSTA is providing a response to two questions.1.
Will OCSTA initiate a legal challenge?
 It is not the intent of OCSTA to initiate a legal challenge at this time.
What should a principal of a Catholic secondary school do if a group of students wants toname the group “GSA”?
We are not advising principals to break the law. Where there is a contradiction between thelanguage of the “Respecting Difference” document and the provisions of Bill 13 withrespect to naming the support group, please note that the legislation takes precedence.This does not, however, remove the right of a principal to ensure the appropriateness of materials used in the school. The Respecting Difference Resource created for Catholic schools provides guidelines for ensuring that student-led groups to combat bullying reflect Catholic values and adhere to Ministry guidelines. I would point out that a group of studentsin a GSA may be a subset of a larger group such as a “Respecting Difference” or “Open Arms” group. As there are various names currently being used in Catholic schools, thedeliberation will occur at the local level.
 A N D P R O T E C T I N G C A T H O L I C E D U C A T I O N
Although the dispute over the name is now resolved, it is time to move forward. The general feelingis that students in a few schools may initiate the request soon to identify a group within the schoolas a “GSA”. From the outset, the concern has been about the content more so than the name and thename should be accepted by the principal, if requested by the students. The focus has to be on thewell-being of the studentsFor your reference, attached are suggested key messaging points to support Boards in answeringquestions on this issue from their local media.
l:\usr\kevin\boards\bill 13..docx

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