I would like to share the information below regarding an email exchange I had with the Peel District School Board, 5650 Hurontario Street, Mississauga, Ontario, to reinstate our Lords Prayer.
What I wanted to achieve was the reintegration of our Canadian Christian faith, as I feel The Lord’s Prayer is part of Canadian history, and should some students or families still feel like observing our Christian faith I think it is their right.
There seems to be a biased opinion against this prayer in our Schools based on the fact that only three people complained about it and brought the issue to a Human Rights commission and cited our Charter for Freedom of Religion against it. However, based on history, I don’t think that was the right decision, we are seeing more and more other types of indoctrination into our school system. In the past they cited that non-Christians felt that religion was forced on them. I think we are seeing other patterns here of ideologies much more harmful than a prayer.
You know, if I were to emigrate to another country, I would have ACCEPTED their culture. And if one of their prayers was recited at work or at school, it would be the respectful thing to tolerate and accept the customs and beliefs of the country you decided to make your home. Therein lies the problem: the Canadian Charter of Rights was used against us Canadians in favor of the complaints by immigrants, and the courts favored the decision to remove a very important Prayer.
The first email below is the one I sent to the Peel School Board, to the Board trustee David Green. I added a video link of the Lord’s Prayer, Our Father, to this email for this article for the Council of European Canadians. This is followed by a reply by another trustee, Robert Crocker, and then a response by a Human Rights Officer, Jasmine Dunn. David Green’s reply was sympathetic. I am not the only one concerned about the removal of Christianity from our schools, and its replacement by other religions in the name of “inclusion”. Here’s a recent article in a local newspaper from another trustee concerned about the expulsion of Christianity from our schools:
My email to the Peel School Board for feedback
Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2022 9:25 PM
To: Green, David (Board Trustee) <email@example.com>
Subject: [EXTERNAL] THE LORDS PRAYER
I would like to know why the Peel board, cannot accommodate Christian prayers in schools, I think its time to go back and re instate the OUR FATHER. At the beginning of the school day.
IT’S TIME TO GO BACK. We were founded under Christian values and as such, you must go back, go back and instill the Prayer that was given by our Lord.
And it is the Lords Prayer!!
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever.
When was it acceptable to discriminate against Christianity? The Peel Board may be diverse now; but the people who founded this nation were Christian, and so was Canada and all its institutions.
I ask that you put that prayer back.
I. Response from a Peel Board Trustee
From: Green, David (Board Trustee)
Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2022 4:37 PM
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] THE LORDS PRAYER
Good day Martine:
As a pastor I have asked the same question many times without and justification.
Anything to do with Christianity seem to be a “No” at this board.
We did start a Christian fellowship at the board that’s advocating for us.
Dr. David Green, MDiv Th.D., C.A.M.C, THM. Ph.D.
Vice Chair PDSB Brampton, Ward 1&5
II. Second Response by Robert Crocker
Sent: Friday, January 14, 2022 2:07 PM
To: Crocker, Robert <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: RE: [EXTERNAL] THE LORDS PRAYER
Hi Mrs. Giambertone
I wondered why you were asking me because I had no reason to think that I am your trustee.
In any case, trustees have no purview over this matter. Public school boards across Ontario stopped using the Lord’s Prayer in schools many years ago. It’s not something trustees control.
I was offered these words from a trustee advisor. I give them to you without further comment:
Thank you for your correspondence and for sharing your concern. I appreciate your note that the Peel District School Board is highly diverse, and we are fortunate to be part of a community with such rich diversity. Indeed, the diversity has increased over time, and the board and its staff serve students and families from a large number of faiths and creeds. The school board recognizes this diversity and honours every child who attends school as a student of Peel DSB.
Our schools are pleased to provide a safe and equitable learning environment for every student. Every child and every faith is welcome in our classrooms. The school board has no plans to promote any single faith over another, and the board will continue to support every child’s emotional well being and pursuit of academic excellence.
Trustee, Mississauga Wards 6&11
Peel District School Board
III. Response from the Human Rights Officer
Hello Mrs. Giambertone,
The Human Rights Office was notified of your request around the inclusion of the “Lord’s Prayer” in PDSB schools, which we understand to be referring to the “Our Father” in the Christian faith. Thanks for raising this concern and for the opportunity to affirm the Board’s human rights position on this important question.
As you have noted, Peel District School Board (“PDSB” or the “Board”) is a diverse multi-faith community. This religious diversity is represented in PDSB students, staff, parents and communities. We’re committed to providing students of all faiths with a learning environment that is welcoming and inclusive including by providing students with curriculum and learning materials that is reflective of the world they come from and encourages them to be critical global thinkers.
The issue raised in your email, specifically the requirement to recite the “Lord’s Prayer” in public schools, was addressed by Ontario’s highest court, the Ontario Court of Appeal in Zylberberg v. Sudbury Board of Education. The Court of Appeal considered, among other things, whether a regulation requiring public schools to open or close each day with religious exercises consisting of the reading of Christian scriptures or other suitable readings and the repeating of the “Lord’s Prayer” or other suitable prayers infringed on s. 2(a) of the Charter. The Court of Appeal confirmed that such a requirement infringed on the freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed under the Charter.
In other words, the absence of the “Lord’s Prayer” in PDSB’s schools is not discriminatory towards Christianity. However, your request to reinstate the “Lord’s Prayer” at the beginning of public school for all students, regardless of their faith, would infringe on the freedom of conscience and religion of PDSB’s non-Christian students under the Charter, and would result in discrimination contrary to the Ontario Human Rights Code and PDSB Human Rights Policy 51 by enforcing a Euro-centric norm that is not reflective of the community of Peel, Ontario, or Canada. We should note that the public Catholic school system is exempt from this under the Charter, and that a public school system that centers Christianity is already available in Peel and in Ontario (Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board).
We also want to address your statement that the Peel Board was once predominantly Christian. The Peel Board has the privilege of residing on Treaty 13A of The Mississaugas of The Credit First Nation. We’re humbled and grateful to the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation as the caretakers of this land and recognize the benefits we receive from them as settlers, immigrants and newcomers. This land continues to be home for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples who cared for this land and held meaningful spiritual practices that informed their relationship to the land, long before colonialism. At PDSB, we are all Treaty People.
In our commitment to upholding human rights at PDSB, we will not be considering your request to mandate the “Lord’s Prayer” in our schools.
If you are a parent seeking a religious accommodation for an individual student relating to reciting a prayer at a specific time during the day, you may make a religious accommodation request through School Admin. Accommodations may be provided on a case-by-case basis and require reasonableness and understanding on both sides to reach a solution that addresses the creed-related need while continuing to foster the goals of public education and combatting racism and religious intolerance.
You can read some more about religious faith in the public school system in this article shared by the Ontario Human Rights Commission: https://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/creed-freedom-religion-and-human-rights-special-issue-diversity-magazine-volume-93-summer-2012/faith-public-school-system-principles-reconciliation#_ednref16. We’re happy to discuss this further with you and provide readings that will support your learning around this important topic.
Thank you and take care,
Human Rights Officer
Pronouns: She, Her
Human Rights Office
Peel District School Board
200 Matheson Blvd, Suite 203C
Mississauga, ON L5R 3L7
Tel: 905-890-1010 ext. 2340
Check the Twitter account of the Peel District School Board. It is mostly LGBTQ propaganda and symbols!