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Education minister continues to review covenants as gay teacher’s letter mass distributed
Published Wednesday, January 9, 2019 8:08PM MST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 9, 2019 8:17PM MST
An anonymously penned letter sent to superintendents, principals and administrators throughout the Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD) is calling for the school board to ‘celebrate inclusivity’ and publicly address, and retract, any documents that would suggest an employee could be removed for being gay.
The undated letter, signed by ‘One Calgary Catholic Employee’ who indicates that they are homosexual, was sent by mail to CCSD schools on Monday (Note: the teacher’s letter appears in full below).
The letter is in response to recent concerns regarding the school board’s use of a covenant, an employee contract, that was enacted in 2017. Board officials said the agreement was intended to be an aspirational tool that all administrators are required to sign but several teachers found the covenant to be homophobic and discriminatory.
CTV News has been in contact with numerous CCSD teachers who say they feel discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.
In December, Alberta’s Minister of Education David Eggen requested copies of the employment contracts of all of the province’s faith-based school divisions for review. On Wednesday, Eggen expanded the review to include some public schools to verify that nothing within the agreements was ‘out of step with the law’.
“We are moving with some urgency because obviously we see more of this story emerging over these last days and weeks,” explained Eggen. “It’s very important to ensure that an employment contract is not being discriminatory based on someone’s sexuality or who they love.”
Eggen says he has read the anonymous letter and found it to be both heartfelt and disturbing. “It’s redoubled my intention to make sure that we do not have discrimination based on sexuality,” said Eggen. “I think that the individual did spell out homosexuality quite explicitly as part of that discriminatory practice that they felt they were experiencing and that’s not acceptable.”
The Ministry of Education has not provided a timeline for the completion of the review of the contracts.
Officials with the Calgary Catholic School District declined to comment on the review or the letter and the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary has refused CTV's interview requests on the matter.
With files from CTV’s Brenna Rose
Letter to Calgary Catholic ... by on Scribd