When this case started Steve Tourloukis’ children were 4 and 6.
A Christian father’s seven-year battle with his public school board over his right to advance notice when and how his children will be taught about controversial topics, particularly LGBTTIQ issues, landed in Ontario’s appeal court this week.
But at this point, Hamilton father of two Steve Tourloukis and his lawyer, Albertos Polizogopoulos, are fighting not only the school board but the elementary teachers’ union and openly lesbian Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government.
“This appeal is about protecting the rights of parents to direct their children’s education, and to protect the religious freedom of parents and their children,” states Tourloukis’ appeal factum.
And whether LGBTTIQ issues are or are even meant to be taught in public schools in a “values-neutral” way, given Liberal policies and laws to eliminate “homophobia” in schools, was a question that occupied much of Monday’s hearing.
Equity and Inclusivity Education Strategy
Steve Tourloukis, a father of two children, initially requested religious accommodation from the school board for his children in 2010, after the 2009 Equity and Inclusivity Education Strategy was implemented by then-minister of education Kathleen Wynne, a lesbian, and her deputy minister, Ben Levin. Levin was convicted in March 2015 of three child pornography related charges. DailyWire
Indeed, lawyers opposing Tourloukis referred to the Equity and Inclusivity Education Strategy that Wynne implemented in 2009 when she was minister of education and Ben Levin her deputy minister.
Levin, who noted in a memo when the EIES was introduced that the “province-wide strategy has been a priority for our Minister of Education Kathleen Wynne and me,” was convicted in March 2015 of three child pornography related charges, including counseling another person to rape a minor, and sentenced in May to 3 1/2 years in prison. LifeSiteNews
Inclusive vs Religiousness Freedom, Parental Rights
The board’s lawyer argued a public school is not allowed to “indoctrinate” students, but that Ontario’s public schools have statutory obligation to create safe schools, including the EIES, Policy Memorandum 119, and the 2012 Accepting Schools Act, or Bill 13. Accommodating Tourloukis would “directly impact the ability of Ontario public schools to provide students with a positive, inclusive, and supportive educational environment.” …
Tourloukis made it clear in his 2012 legal challenge he did not object to his children being taught facts, or to discussions and opinions by classmates on these subjects.
But he did object to teachers, who are authority figures, making “value judgments” in class, such as presenting homosexuality as natural, or abortion as morally acceptable.
Polizogopoulos argued in the initial hearing and on appeal that the board’s refusal to grant Tourloukis’ request violates his Charter right to religious freedom, because he believes his Christian faith obliges him to protect his children from “false teachings” and “not lead his children into sin.” LifeSiteNews